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23 May 2004

On the Home Front

In some ways, this is the most frightening of all the stories in the grim saga of America's War on Terra - er - Terror. At Rio Rancho High School in New Mexico, the prinicipal commits an egregious violation of the First Amendment rights of the whole student body. It all started with an extracurricular club of students learning to perform in "poetry slams" and the very successful reading by one girl student of a poem critical of Bush administration war policies and education policies. The principal of the school and its military liaison then went on a massive witch-hunt, firing the teacher advising the poetry group, banning all teaching and reading of poetry in the school, tearing down posters and art-work they deemed "un-American" and subjecting the students to patriotic assemblies where they were told to "shut their faces" if they disagreed with the prinicipal's politics. The mother of the offending student poet, also a teacher, was ordered to destroy her daughter's work, which she refused to do, also being threatened with dismissal. (Note: I have been meaning to post this for a few days and forgot. Thanks to my non-blogging friend James who sent it to me in an e-mail and prodded my memory.)

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