Re-1 showed poor form | AspenTimes.com

Re-1 showed poor form

Dear Editor:

As a graduate of the Re-1 School district, I can attest to a variety of things that were allowed to “contaminate” the minds of students while I was there. Some of my favorites are to include, but are not limited to: the broadcasting of the O.J. Simpson murder trial verdict in my seventh grade math class; a social studies teacher who attempted to rig high school student council elections; a gym teacher who had a relationship with a minor and a track coach who would tell his team members that only those who believed that Jesus Christ was their savior would do well at track meets.

I am thrilled to know that the youth of this valley was spared the ranting of a United States president; I heard he encouraged the youth of America to take responsibility for their educations, stay in school and work hard. These are dangerous messages that should certainly have been kept from the eyes and ears of the students in this valley. I am fascinated as to what the nay-saying parents and administrators were afraid that the president would say to school children in a nationally televised speech, perhaps subliminal messages that would warp their children into socialists?

I know a lot of politicians, and I couldn’t name one who would commit political suicide by getting pushy with partisan issues in a back-to-school speech for kids. An official comment from the district superintendent stated that she “wished this whole thing hadn’t become so strangely political.” What is the “whole thing?” The president, education, people’s emotions? Welcome to reality, folks. Much of public schooling is seeped in politics. Furthermore, the mission of educating and connecting children to the world around them should take precedence over professionals dodging political ramifications. There is no public without politic.

My thought is that if parents are doing their jobs, and teachers are doing their jobs, these kids were going to filter whatever would have been presented to them through their own value system. I thought the point of education was to be presented with ideas, test the validity of them and to make a choice from there. The decision to not allow the video of the United States president giving a welcome-back-to-school address was firstly, disrespectful to the president and secondly, is contrary to the whole point of public education: structured exposure and evaluation to the world and its issues. Something tells me these students could have handled it.

Jennifer Donovan

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