In the imagined shadow of the Twin Towers that are no longer there, the students of teacher Alex Kunhardt’s social-studies class at Brooklyn’s JHS 51 send their regards to some soldiers whom they thought were stationed in Iraq:
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.They sent letters like this to the soldiers standing between the South Koreans and the nut Kim Jong Il?
Mr. (I assume) Kunhardt had no response to the New York Post regarding the letters, but the school’s principal, Xavier Costello, did:
"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."New Yorkers' tax dollars at work? Maybe. Then again, this might be the work of some of the parents. New York is mostly a Democratic state—in spite of NYC’s mayor and the state’s chief executive—and I doubt that the average eleven-year-old has it in for US Armed Forces personnel. The young “naysayers” were undoubtedly coached.
Fine. It’s a parental right to raise offspring with the values that he/she sees fit.
only a handful of soldiers would leave the Iraq war aliveBut when one’s bequeathed values run up against one of the most valued assets of an Armed Force—its morale—then one is to be scorned. Not silenced. Scorned.
Question for both types of teachers of these children: do you want our military men and women dead? Then write your poisoned-penned letters yourselves. That would be the adult thing to do, rather than use your children as human shields.
(Thanks to reader and old friend Iron Mike)
UPDATE: More commentary: