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Letter: Teacher was not mistaken

Published: Thursday, March 7, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

Reading Eric Olson’s column about the shirt controversy at Genoa Middle School, I appreciated his reminding the public that the teacher who objected to a shirt depicting guns should not be vilified and threatened. However, you said she “made a mistake.”

My reaction is this: No. No, she did not make a mistake. She tried to uphold a peaceful, non threatening, civil environment that doesn’t include the glorification of weapons. 

A classroom is not a boot camp or a military training ground. Everyone serving in the millitary deserves to be honored and supported, but when the focus is on honoring their weapons instead, things have become turned upside down.

Shame on the Genoa school administration for not supporting their teacher and knuckling under to pressure from a TV news network that loves to create controversy.

It seems to me that the mistake was made by a parent so eager to place blame – without any reasonable discussion or exchange of views – that he has to attack his own local school in a public forum by labeling it “OUT OF CONTROL!” Really? Because one teacher objected to one shirt? Or because we all don’t share that view?

This incident is a sadly perfect example of our polarized culture. We are shocked – shocked! – and outraged when someone disagrees and dares to offend us. Perhaps we could all take a moment to remember that most people are well-intentioned most of the time, and a simple conversation can often clear up basic misunderstandings. 

When we still disagree, we need to realize that people have the right to their own views. That’s one of the most important freedoms that the Marines, and their other brothers and sisters in arms, have secured for us.

I certainly commend Noah Currier for his service to our country, and I wish him well in his business. I hope his next series of designs focuses more on the loyalty, integrity, courage and commitment of the Marine Corps. Those are values that are welcome in any classroom.

Barbara Henson


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