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Principal rejects anti-war assignment (Teachers wanted 3rd graders to write anti-war letters)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ^ | 11/22/05 | BOB PURVIS

Posted on 11/23/2005 6:11:37 AM PST by UB355

Principal rejects anti-war assignment Madison students' planned letters set off dispute By BOB PURVIS bpurvis@journalsentinel.com Posted: Nov. 22, 2005

The principal at a Madison elementary school where teachers assigned third-graders to write a dozen letters urging an end to the war in Iraq sent a letter of apology to parents and ordered teachers to rescind the assignment Tuesday.

A letter sent home Friday with third-graders at Frank Allis Elementary School explaining the assignment to parents said students would be assigned 12 letters to write to third-graders at other Wisconsin and out-of-state schools, federal lawmakers, the media and President Bush.

If the war hadn't ended by the 12th day of letter writing, students would have had to start the process all over again. The letter gave parents an opt-out option and said the assignment was intended to teach civic responsibility, composition and handwriting skills.

The assignment irked U.S. Rep. Mark Green (R-Wis.), who sent a letter to the school's principal.

"It's a profound misjudgment to use third-grade students as political pawns regardless of the issue," said Green.

"If I received letters from third-grade students saying, 'Dear Congressman Green, please vote for the war,' I would be equally as disturbed."

School Principal Chris Hodge said the third-grade teachers came to her with the proposal last week. She believed it violated district policy but wanted to check with administration officials first.

Hodge said the teachers misinterpreted her comments and sent a letter about the campaign to parents anyway. She immediately canceled the project after finding out.

The campaign violated two district policies: one that bans teachers from promoting their personal political beliefs to students; and another that requires teachers to address opposing views when presenting controversial topics, said district spokesman Joe Quick.

"It was a mistake on the teachers' part," Quick said. "They were very enthusiastic about what they were trying to do and didn't realize it violated School Board policy."

Most of the calls made to the district about the assignment were from media outlets, not angry parents, Quick said.

"This was kind of a moot point by 10 o'clock this morning," Quick said.

The teachers won't face any disciplinary measures, Hodge said, but she planned to remind staff at their December meeting of district policies.

Several of the teachers who signed the letter did not return calls to their home or office phone numbers; another teacher reached at home declined to comment.

Sharon Johnson, Frank Allis Elementary PTA president, said she was disappointed to see that the envelopes and stamps she sent to school with her daughter, as requested in the assignment, were returned Tuesday.

"I got the letter, and I had no objection," Johnson said. "Her world is pretty much made up of the Cartoon Network. I thought it was a good idea to get kids to open up their eyes."

Johnson, a Democrat, had no problem with the assignment but admitted that it if the campaign had promoted the war she would have.

Green sent another letter to Hodge after she canceled the assignment suggesting students write letters to troops thanking them for their service, which he described as a non-political cause that everyone could get behind.

Hodge had not responded to that letter late Tuesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Wisconsin
KEYWORDS: academia; leftismoncampus; letters; madison; madisonwi; markgreen; sickness; teacher
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1 posted on 11/23/2005 6:11:38 AM PST by UB355
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To: UB355

I think this goes on all the time. This teacher just happened to get caught. Don't be fooled, many teachers are Union dolts.


2 posted on 11/23/2005 6:15:06 AM PST by Obadiah ( Deuteronomy 6:5)
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To: UB355

WHY isn't the teacher FIRED?


3 posted on 11/23/2005 6:16:46 AM PST by nmh (Intelligent people believe in Intelligent Design (God).)
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To: UB355

Where are the teachers that are assigning students to write letters
to Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines thanking them for their service
in defending America's freedom and keeping terrorists occupied
on foreign soil?


4 posted on 11/23/2005 6:17:48 AM PST by RetiredSWO
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To: UB355
"I got the letter, and I had no objection," Johnson said. "Her world is pretty much made up of the Cartoon Network. I thought it was a good idea to get kids to open up their eyes."

Ahh yes, she wants the school to open her kids eyes because she is too busy doing..........?

5 posted on 11/23/2005 6:18:08 AM PST by fml
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To: UB355

http://www.madison.k12.wi.us/001.htm

Madison Wisconsin


6 posted on 11/23/2005 6:18:47 AM PST by UB355 (Slower traffic keep right >>>>>>>>>>>>>>)
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To: UB355
"I got the letter, and I had no objection," Johnson said. "Her world is pretty much made up of the Cartoon Network. I thought it was a good idea to get kids to open up their eyes."

Johnson, a Democrat, had no problem with the assignment but admitted that it if the campaign had promoted the war she would have.

In other words, this democrat has no problem with using children as pawns to promote HER political views but would object if the children were being used to promote political views that she finds objectionable. Typical democrat hypocrite.

7 posted on 11/23/2005 6:19:37 AM PST by VRWCmember
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To: UB355

A lady I know went to the school principal at her son's school (he's 7th grade) because he had a teacher who would always bring the topic around to anti-Bush retoric. The principal said he had a few complaints. The teacher gave an apology to each of her classes and has kept her mouth shut on that since.


8 posted on 11/23/2005 6:23:47 AM PST by HungarianGypsy (`)
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To: VRWCmember

I agree, and would add that we cannot really expect HER to be coherent now, can we?

DA740


9 posted on 11/23/2005 6:24:58 AM PST by DA740
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To: UB355

my daughter comes home almost daily with the liberal diatribe that she says her teachers are trying to stuff down her throat. Thakn god i taught her to ask questions and not to beleive teachers , newspapers, magazines, just because they say something.
I would expect nothing less from Madison, the city the 60's never let go.


10 posted on 11/23/2005 6:28:26 AM PST by robjna
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To: fml
"I got the letter, and I had no objection," Johnson said. "Her world is pretty much made up of the Cartoon Network. I thought it was a good idea to get kids to open up their eyes."

I don't see much difference between the Cartoon Network and the Cartoon News Network. I think someone ought to open the eyes of some of the adults, especially PTA presidents.

11 posted on 11/23/2005 6:29:29 AM PST by oldbrowser (The U.S. Senate is a quagmire.)
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To: HungarianGypsy

Note the very last line where the teachers are now requested to ask the kids to write letters to the troops thanking them for their service...and then "no comment" comes from the teachers.

The teachers will NOT ask the kids to do that.

Meanwhile, my niece wrote me a thank you email on Veterans Day because my sister had reminded her that I served in the 80s. The email hit me like a ton of bricks. It means SO MUCH to get thanked liked that. And all I did was avoid being blown up in the La Belle Disco in Berlin 1986.


12 posted on 11/23/2005 6:30:27 AM PST by GermanBusiness
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To: RetiredSWO
Where are the teachers that are assigning students to write letters to Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines thanking them for their service in defending America's freedom and keeping terrorists occupied on foreign soil?

Right here! The students here write letters to soldiers all the time (no, we aren't near any base). Many have relatives serving. Several soldiers have returned and given talks to the schools and one Marine's unit's flag from Afghanistan is hanging outside the school library.

Please don't dump public school. Remember, it's the bad ones that get the headlines.

13 posted on 11/23/2005 6:30:55 AM PST by mtbopfuyn (Legality does not dictate morality... Lavin)
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To: fml

"I got the letter, and I had no objection," Johnson said. "Her world is pretty much made up of the Cartoon Network. I thought it was a good idea to get kids to open up their eyes."

Exactly. Where do parents fit in to this? If I want my kids eyes open, I do it at home. I don't rely on the village to turn her into a sheep.


14 posted on 11/23/2005 6:33:05 AM PST by HOTTIEBOY (Maybe in your house. Not in mine.)
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To: VRWCmember

BINGO! And why? Because in the liberal mind THEY are morally superior and the means justify the ends.


15 posted on 11/23/2005 6:33:42 AM PST by Obadiah ( Deuteronomy 6:5)
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To: VRWCmember

You are a teacher & a conservative. Why are there so few conservatives in this profession?
There are several teachers in my family(one prof very liberal; one prof mostly conservative; two elementary teachers off the charts liberal) and IMHO, they are under paid, under supported by parents and under appreciated/respected by the liberals......for example:

While they say they support public education, Clinton, Gore, Kerry & Kennedy all sent their kids to private schools. Shouldn't this matter to liberals?


16 posted on 11/23/2005 6:33:43 AM PST by chgomac
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To: RetiredSWO

Way back when my youngest son was in the third grade, my wife and I went to a cinco de mayo?? celebration at his school. When it was over, I went up to the principal, told him how nice it was, explained to him that because of the sacrifices that our veterans have made, that he was able to hold this wonderful celebration of a spanish holiday. I then asked him what his school was going to do for Veterans Day? He just stood there with his jaw hitting the floor. Ever since that day, this school has put on a wonderful veterans day celebration, complete with letters, and reports, plays etc. for the veterans of our armed services. Sometimes all it takes is a well placed word, to get people to see the light.


17 posted on 11/23/2005 6:34:48 AM PST by joe fonebone (Well, since there's no other place around the place, ah reckon this must be the place..ah reckon!)
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To: UB355
Johnson, a Democrat, had no problem with the assignment but admitted that it if the campaign had promoted the war she would have.

That's the first arguably conservatively-biased AP statement I've seen.
18 posted on 11/23/2005 6:34:57 AM PST by Seamoth
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To: nmh
"WHY isn't the teacher FIRED?"

Exactly!!!!!!!!! this is outrageous

19 posted on 11/23/2005 6:36:32 AM PST by Kelly_2000 ( (Because they stand on a wall and say nothing is going to hurt you tonight. Not on my watch))
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To: robjna

In grade school the history teacher told us that there were no homeless or hungry in socialist & communist countries.


20 posted on 11/23/2005 6:38:21 AM PST by Seamoth
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