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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

News-Sentinel Mailbag

Fort Wayne's "Good Evening" Newspaper Starts Publishing Letters About Carroll

There's the pro, essentially an edited version of what Mike Sylvester had earlier posted on his weblog:
NACS needs free-speech lesson

A Carroll High School student was recently expelled for writing a 10-page “satire” that was extremely critical of the Carroll High School administration. The student in question has no record of disciplinary problems and was a strong student academically as well as being a member of the student council, band, the political club, future business leaders and speech team.


There are many options a school can use to discipline a student who has misbehaved in some fashion; the most extreme is expulsion for the school year. Students who are a threat to the safety of other students or who are continuous discipline problems should be removed from school; however, this student does not fit these criteria.


If warranted, the student should be required to apologize to people he offended. This would be more than sufficient for a first offense.

Instead, the student can no longer attend Carroll High School and cannot be involved with the student activities he participated in.


One of the strengths of this great nation is the freedom of the press and speech. I am a proud military veteran extremely concerned about the constant erosion of our civil liberties.


Mike Sylvester, candidate Northwest Allen County Schools board
And the Con, where the writer sees larger societal forces at play:
Carroll ‘satire’ another sign of decay

We need to do something about the permissiveness regarding children. There seem to be few boundaries. Our society has an anything-goes attitude toward kids, and no one is supposed to say anything.

If a student breaks a rule, the parents sue, even though the rule is there to help protect the entire student population. If this Carroll High School student who distributed a “satire” about the school had something to say, why did he need to call the principal a female dog, using a vulgar term? What was the point of using vulgar language at all and then selling the booklet for $10?

It sounds like this student was trying to get attention while making a buck. If he was trying to get his point across, he went about it the wrong way. He could have passed out pamphlets outside school, minus the obscene language and a $10 charge. This student needs to be held accountable for his actions.

Laura J. Smyser
Note: There is no evidence that the student was selling his booklet. It is assumed that the letter's author was speaking of litigious parents in general and not about the parents of the student who is the subject of the letter.

Blah..blah..blah.. I really get tired of seeing her name in the editorial section. She rants but never makes a valid observation.
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