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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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To: RetiredSWO

My son's previous third grade teacher had the children send care packages to the soldiers.


21 posted on 11/23/2005 6:39:55 AM PST by jer33 3
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To: UB355
School Principal Chris Hodge said the third-grade teachers came to her with the proposal last week

Name the teachers!

22 posted on 11/23/2005 6:40:08 AM PST by sausageseller (Look out for the jackbooted spelling police. There! Everywhere!(revised cause the "man" accosted me!)
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To: chgomac
Why are there so few conservatives in this profession?

Conservatives tend to be smarter and more successful in their academic pursuits, so they end up going into fields with higher standards for admittance and higher rewards for high performance.

The "teaching" community is so desperate for teachers, that standards are low. With low standards come low rewards. Thus the best and brightest are attracted to other areas and the pool of teachers is made up of (1) mostly incompetent liberals, and (2) some good teachers who are motivated by a desire to teach and excel in spite of the terrible environment and low pay. That is why you have a few good teachers who tend to be conservative, and a lot of incompetent public-sector union-protected educrats who steadfastly resist any reform that would introduce competition or base compensation on performance.

23 posted on 11/23/2005 6:40:27 AM PST by VRWCmember
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To: UB355

Were these teachers hired to "teach" children left wing "civic responsibility" or basic reading, writing and arithmatic?

If the latter, then they violated their contract and should be fired.

Until parents start suing teachers who use classrooms as political platforms, this waste of taxpayer dollars on Marxist dolt teachers will continue. It's time to turn the tables on the ACLU and use contract law against the leftist indoctrination system called public schools.


24 posted on 11/23/2005 6:41:28 AM PST by sergeantdave (Member of the Arbor Day Foundation, travelling the country and destroying open space)
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To: HungarianGypsy
Nothing new. One of the teachers in my son's middle school told students" if you want to criticize someone do that to Republicans and Bush".After my visit to school she needed extra diaper.
25 posted on 11/23/2005 6:43:22 AM PST by QQQQ
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To: joe fonebone

I'm glad you took the opportunity to speak up for our veterans!

A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.


26 posted on 11/23/2005 6:43:44 AM PST by jer33 3
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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."

STOOPID cow. Why not let your little darlin write her letters from home, then?

27 posted on 11/23/2005 6:44:16 AM PST by SuziQ
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To: UB355

Modern day Baldur von Schirach's.


28 posted on 11/23/2005 6:44:59 AM PST by KC_Conspirator (This space outsourced to India)
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To: GermanBusiness
On a local homeschooling newsletter a request was made for volunteers to make cookies for the local base. We jumped all over that one. We're including children letters also.
My children are constantly wanting to talk to any military folk they see in uniform. I have to remind them that not everyone just came back from Iraq. :-)
29 posted on 11/23/2005 6:48:23 AM PST by HungarianGypsy (`)
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To: GermanBusiness
On a local homeschooling newsletter a request was made for volunteers to make cookies for the local base. We jumped all over that one. We're including children letters also.
My children are constantly wanting to talk to any military folk they see in uniform. I have to remind them that not everyone just came back from Iraq. :-)
30 posted on 11/23/2005 6:51:03 AM PST by HungarianGypsy (`)
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To: UB355

If this doesn't wake up parents that teachers are out of control, they are beyond help and they deserve what their children get taught.

I would bet that this is just the tippy tip of the iceberg.


31 posted on 11/23/2005 6:51:58 AM PST by ridesthemiles (ridesthemiles)
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To: Seamoth

American,French and Cuban sitting in local bar.French says"today i was waiting in long lane to buy some food".American asks"what is long lane"? Cuban asks" what is food"?


32 posted on 11/23/2005 6:51:59 AM PST by QQQQ
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To: mtbopfuyn

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

Detail, please, the good public schools........

That will be a VERY short list, IMO.


33 posted on 11/23/2005 6:53:56 AM PST by ridesthemiles (ridesthemiles)
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To: UB355
It was a mistake on the teachers' part ... [they]didn't realize it violated School Board policy.
Hodge said the teachers misinterpreted her comments and sent a letter about the campaign to parents anyway.

This was no "mistake" or "misinterpretation" and how is it that all these teachers didn't know their school district's policy? Freakin' pinko-commies.
34 posted on 11/23/2005 6:58:00 AM PST by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: QQQQ

The teacher needed a diaper?


35 posted on 11/23/2005 6:58:43 AM PST by GOPPachyderm
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To: VRWCmember

"The "teaching" community is so desperate for teachers, that standards are low. With low standards come low rewards."

Could you elaborate on the "low standards" aspect please? As an interested observer, I've see the teacher's costs in time, trouble and money when they get post graduate degrees, and it seems pretty high.

They want to be a closed profession tho.....why shouldn't someone who is skilled in math or science be allowed to teach without taking all those "education" courses to be certified?


36 posted on 11/23/2005 6:59:41 AM PST by chgomac
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To: oh8eleven

How smart can they be? Frankly, I think teachers are pretty well paid and have a great vacation schedule.

I heard the teacher on Rush's program recently talking about putting in 60-70 hours a week during the school year, but I suspect that is a personal work style - not necessity. I also think most professionals routinely work 50 hours a week.


37 posted on 11/23/2005 7:02:22 AM PST by GOPPachyderm
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To: chgomac
Could you elaborate on the "low standards" aspect please?

The standard for teaching in public schools is typically a teaching certificate and/or completion of "education" courses, rather than demonstrated competence or education in the field one is teaching. Thus, an engineering degree with specialization in geology and chemistry would not qualify you to teach high school science, but completion of an "education" degree would.

You do not need to be able to write or diagram coherent sentences with proper grammar and syntax to teach "English" in a public school, just be able to pass a certification test that is in reality little more than a high school equivalency exam.

That's what I mean by low standards.

38 posted on 11/23/2005 7:06:34 AM PST by VRWCmember
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To: Kelly_2000
Our coerced tax dollars at work again ... .

I'd HATE to know what else this "teacher" "teaches" in class. This person has way too much moxy. This is in your face stuff.
39 posted on 11/23/2005 7:11:25 AM PST by nmh (Intelligent people believe in Intelligent Design (God).)
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To: UB355
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.

This is not a "non-political" issue to the antiwar left. To them, it is an advocacy of the Iraq war and the reason for it. The loony left would have us believe they "support the troops" like good little patriots, while they constantly try to subvert their cause and bolster that of the enemy. They are traitors, just like they were during Vietnam.

40 posted on 11/23/2005 7:12:27 AM PST by Emile
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To: GOPPachyderm
I think teachers are pretty well paid and have a great vacation schedule.
Both my sons are teachers and both never fail to call me at the beginning of the school year to tell me how much time they don't have to work. And no, they're not PE teachers. It's not all "peaches and cream" but with two months off in the summer and all the time off during the school year, they're more than happy.
41 posted on 11/23/2005 7:16:21 AM PST by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: nmh
yes it makes my blood burn to be honest, and your right, who knows what she has been teaching these kids. The teachings of Chairman Mao? This teacher's entire activities should be reviewed.
42 posted on 11/23/2005 7:16:54 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: Seamoth

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

Did he make you address him as, "Dear Leader?"


43 posted on 11/23/2005 7:19:57 AM PST by takbodan (.)
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To: VRWCmember

"The "teaching" community is so desperate for teachers, that standards are low. "

That doesn't just apply to k12. I just completed my college degree and the instructor in British Literature always asked me to answer the questions she didn't know how to answer. She called me the 'Jane Eyre expert' when she was the one who did her Master thesis on Jane Eyre! The one smart thing she said was that she couldn't understand the feminist view of Jane Eyre. She couldn't see it and neither could I.


44 posted on 11/23/2005 7:20:21 AM PST by imskylark
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To: GermanBusiness

During a horrible family tragedy early this year I went to Cincinnati to be with my sister and her kids. When I went into the kitchen, placed on a shelf with honor was a bell and flag with MY name (maiden) and my service dates and branch, My heart felt joyful. My neice had made it for a veterans day celebration at her school. I cant remember being more touched in my whole life. I bowed up!!!!!


45 posted on 11/23/2005 7:20:52 AM PST by mpackard (Katrina Survivor.....)
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To: takbodan

LOL... no... come to think of it, I went home announcing they had no homeless & hungry in Communist & Socialist countries, and was confused when my family reacted as if I'd said I was doing hard drugs. He got mysteriously meek & quiet after that day. :o)


46 posted on 11/23/2005 7:26:26 AM PST by Seamoth
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To: Obadiah

The teacher that "organized" other teachers to participate should be fired immediately.


47 posted on 11/23/2005 7:32:33 AM PST by stumpy
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To: VRWCmember

"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."

Excellent observation...


48 posted on 11/23/2005 7:34:24 AM PST by WKUHilltopper
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To: VRWCmember

That's what I hoped you meant.
IMHO, you can't "teach" someone how to teach, it's a talent you either have or don't. Knowledge of the subject matter and a passion for sharing it over takes credentials, especially at the high school and college level.
For the younger kid's teachers, I'd add in a need to cherish & encourage full potential of each child; a high tolerance for frustration,(mainstreaming kids who demand much time and attention): and finally, the ability to focus on the goals of the grade you teach.

Those are my thought, for what they're worth....I'm just an interested mom & gram and taxpayer :)



49 posted on 11/23/2005 7:34:46 AM PST by chgomac
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To: ridesthemiles

I was polite and asked "please", but you obviously want to start something. I'm not going to play but will remind you of 3 homeschools which weren't so great - Yates, Ludwig, and Borden.


50 posted on 11/23/2005 7:41:43 AM PST by mtbopfuyn (Legality does not dictate morality... Lavin)
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