Tuesday, February 22, 2005
Fine ... but they should first apologize to the parents and taxpayers of New York for taking their children and $12 billion of their tax money annually to run a school system in which this can not only happen, but when it does the school principal's instinctive first defense is: "We would never censor our sixth graders". A school system that, no matter how much its spending goes up, remains utterly devoid of accountability.
The city Department of Education, red-faced over Brooklyn sixth-graders who slammed a GI with demoralizing anti-Iraq-war letters as part of a school assignment, will send the 20-year-old private a letter of apology today.
Deputy Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina, who has a nephew serving in Iraq, plans to personally contact Pfc. Rob Jacobs and his family. Jacobs is stationed 10 miles from the North Korean border and has been told he may be headed to Iraq in the near future...
Filled with political diatribes, the letters — excerpts of which were printed in yesterday's Post — predicted GIs would die by the tens of thousands, accused soldiers of killing Iraqi civilians and bashed President Bush.
Teacher Alex Kunhardt had his students write Jacobs as part of a social-studies assignment....
One girl wrote that she believes Jacobs is "being forced to kill innocent people" and challenged him to name an Iraqi terrorist, concluding, "I know I can't."
Another girl wrote, "I strongly feel this war is pointless," while a classmate predicted that because Bush was re-elected, "only 50 or 100 [soldiers] will survive." A boy accused soldiers of "destroying holy places like mosques."
Jacobs said he would welcome a letter from the Department of Education and the teacher... [NY Post]
Soldier Stunned By Letter Kids' Rants
Pfc. Rob Jacobs of New Jersey said he was initially ecstatic to get a package of letters from sixth-graders at JHS 51 in Park Slope last month at his base 10 miles from the North Korea border.
That changed when he opened the envelope and found missives strewn with politically charged rhetoric, vicious accusations and demoralizing predictions that only a handful of soldiers would leave the Iraq war alive...
One Muslim boy wrote: "Even thoe [sic] you are risking your life for our country, have you seen how many civilians you or some other soldier killed?"
His letter, which was stamped with a smiley face, went on: "I know your [sic] trying the terrorists but you are also destroying holy places like Mosques."...
... nine of the students made clear their distaste for the president or the war.
The letters were written as a social-studies assignment.
... the school principal, Xavier Costello, responded with a statement:
"While we would never censor anything that our children write, we sincerely apologize for forwarding letters that were in any way inappropriate to Pfc. Jacobs. This assignment was not intended to be insensitive, but to be supportive of the men and women in service to our nation." [NY Post]
Of course, nobody in the NYC public school system would ever censor students' assignments ... or even use them to teach students how to spell.
They don't collect $12,000 per student per year to do that.
And that's all you really need to know.