The Hard Truth

Journal of Political News & Constitutionalism

School Warns Students That Criticism of Obama Will Not Be Tolerated

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From the Dayton Daily News

www.daytondailynews.com

By Eric Schwartzberg and Marie Rossiter

Staff writers

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mason school officials said they are taking a proactive educational approach in advance of next week’s planned Inauguration Day activities.

“Inappropriate comments that may make other students, staff or families feel unwelcome or uncomfortable in school or on the bus will not be tolerated,” Superintendent Kevin Bright said in an e-mail sent to parents Monday, Jan. 12.

The district, he said, expects students and staff to show respect for President-elect Obama and the incoming administration, as well as President Bush and the outgoing administration, and recognize that “while the election is a competitive process, our nation’s greatness is displayed when all sides come together for a united country.”

Jeff Schlaeger, Mason High School’s psychologist, said “inappropriate comments” occurred around election week when doctored pictures of Obama appeared at the school, including “derogatory caricatures” of him dressed like a terrorist and signs that read “Obama ’08/Biden ’09.”

“There were groups of students that were worked up over the results of the election,” said Schlaeger, who is a member of the district’s racial equity committee and curriculum organizer for MHS Freshman Diversity Week.

The school is offering a variety of events for students at every grade level, ranging from letter-writing and books, to videos, reflection and watching the inauguration itself, Bright said in the e-mail.

“We’re attempting to take a more proactive approach now and, first of all, celebrate the passing of power in our country and at the same time also celebrate this historic inauguration and the election of our first African-American president,” Bright said during an interview Tuesday.

Warren County Commissioner Dave Young, who has three children in the school district, said he questions an “inappropriate comments” policy based on what makes someone feel “unwelcome or uncomfortable.”

“It’s not ‘We’re discouraging you from saying those (comments)’ it’s ‘It won’t be tolerated,’ ” Young said. “That’s a very dangerous precedent.”

 

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Written by bkl1

January 19, 2009 at 12:50 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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