Skip to comments.Teachers' anti-war message draws fire
Posted on 06/15/2010 4:34:51 AM PDT by raccoonradio
SOUTH YARMOUTH Some students are calling for the firing of two Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School teachers who held an anti-war sign during a school assembly Friday.
History teacher Marybeth Verani and English teacher Adeline Koscher made their silent protest during the part of the assembly in which school officials recognized graduating seniors who are entering the military.
"They not only imposed their political will, they imposed it at the wrong time," said D-Y junior Andrew Bowles Jr., who organized an after-school protest yesterday that drew about 30 students.
Parents and other community members have flooded the high school principal's office with about 40 e-mails and phone calls criticizing the teachers' actions.
"I honestly feel (the protest) was misplaced," said D-Y parent Joanne Schuman of Yarmouth. "I think they should have been removed from that event."
Some individuals have voiced support for the two teachers, who were put on paid leave until at least tomorrow, Verani said.
She said she and Koscher were not trying to undermine the students but "to address the expansion of military recruitment of children in our schools.
"I think we're supposed to open the door for differences of opinion," said Verani, a longtime peace activist. "We're not all in lock-step agreement on everything."
The protest unfolded during the senior last assembly, when the high school gathers to recognize graduates for a variety of achievements. For the last five years the recognition ceremony has included the awarding of plaques to students entering military service, said Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School principal Kenneth Jenks.
"Most schools don't recognize students who go into the military," he said.
When D-Y resource Officer Nicholas R. Pasquarosa Jr. addressed the crowd, comparing the volunteer enlistees to a sheepdog standing between the flock and a wolf, Verani and Koscher stood on the bleachers and held an "end war" sign while everyone else sat.
What to many was a sign of respect for the students was to the protesting teachers a recruiting moment, said Verani, who noted that assistant principal George Morrison, a National Guardsman, attended in military fatigues.
"This was a captive audience," she said, adding that the plaques should have been given out at an after-school awards ceremony that was not compulsory attendance for all students.
Verani and Koscher tucked their sign away and sat while the names of the six students entering the U.S. Marine Corps, Army and National Guard were announced.
They remained seated while the rest of those at the assembly gave the students a standing ovation.
"Standing and applauding is a sign of support for the decision these people have made," Verani said. "I want them to be home and alive and well and going to college and dating and having kids and coaching Little League."
The protest struck the wrong note with many attendees, Jenks said.
"Large numbers of students and faculty were upset," he said. "This is a recognition ceremony, not a classroom debate."
Heightening the reaction was the attendance of Yarmouth police Lt. Steven Xiarhos, who lost his son, U.S. Marine Cpl. Nicholas Xiarhos, to a roadside bombing in Afghanistan in July 2009.
Nicholas Xiarhos, a 2006 D-Y grad, was among the first group of students to receive a plaque recognizing their military service.
Jenks would not comment on what sort of discipline Verani and Koscher might face. "We're reviewing our options," he said. "The reality is we follow due process."
Bowles, who plans to join the Air Force ROTC when he graduates, said he wants the teachers fired.
"I'm sick of seeing people tarnishing the memory of our troops," he said as fellow students waved the American flag and sang the national anthem on Station Avenue.
James Kinney of West Barnstable, who knows Verani and wrote a letter to the editor of the Cape Cod Times in her support, defended the teachers.
"I think that it's important to show dissent," he said. "I think that's the highest form of patriotism."
Maureen Tuohy-Bedford, whose son Evan Tuohy-Bedford just graduated and has joined the U.S. Marine Corps, wouldn't let the protestors ruin Friday's assembly.
"The ceremony was beautiful," she said. "So many people did the right thing."
But I', quite sure they'd have no problem with recruitment into the ranks of the peace freaks, greenpeace, or some gay group.
I would get these two fired and thoroughly embarrassed. They wouldn't be the first teachers who I got fired because they wrecked their own careers.
On WBZ Boston last night host conservative talk host Dan Rea wondered “what if awards were to be presented to a bunch of gay students and two teachers stood up with signs saying homosexuality was immoral...what would be the reaction to that...?”
My tagline says it all.
Fire everyone of them! If they can’t support our country in the face of the jihad that threatens us, then they don’t deserve the privilege to teach our children. If they believe in their position let them travel to an afghani, paki or radical islamic village and see how long they last. The local jihadis cut off infidels heads for sport.
Here they go with this meme again. It's patriotic in their eyes, unless it is against the Amateur-in-Chief and his crew, then you had better be in complete agreement.
I’m sure that these two rotting fleshpots would have no objection to the wars of Stalin, Mao, Ho Chi Minh, Castro, et al and the 60 million or so dead from their tyranny.
And who ends war? Soldiers.
The students should carry signs that read “My teacher is an idiot” in their classroom.I’m sure that wont be allowed.So much for a two way street for free speech in the classroom.
How about one that says “Jesus is Lord”? That teacher would fired on the spot.
What about what THEY want? Man, some people are terminally stupid.
“I think we’re supposed to open the door for differences of opinion,” said Verani, a longtime peace activist.”
Translation: It’s all about me, all of the time.
Self obsessed witch.
What a great idea!
Further evidence that liberals do not give two flying you-know-whats about anyone or anything but themselves and their politics.
These students, probably only 17 years old, have made a courageous and heartfelt decision to protect this country and all in it, including their hippy teachers and they are thanked like this.
I think it goes deeper that the teacher hated the fact that these young people were mentioned. They have dedicated themselves to joining the military for us. It is a shame that their mention and their graduation day was such a negative point for them.
Liberals hate the military because it takes money away from government social programs. Those teachers want to end the war and military spending so that they can be paid more.
She should have continued "Until the enemies come in and rape their children and wives before their eyes and cut off their heads with dull knives." as that is what her statement really means.
Liberals are so brain dead. How do they even manage to breathe?
Lord, please save and change each and every one of them, and if they won't be saved and changed, kill them before they lead others into hell with them. Amen
I think were supposed to open the door for differences of opinion, said Verani, a longtime peace activist.
Translation: “As long as the opinion is one I agree with, otherwise shut the f**k up!”
“For the last five years the recognition ceremony has included the awarding of plaques to students entering military service, said Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School principal Kenneth Jenks.
“Most schools don’t recognize students who go into the military,” he said. “
At my school we have the seniors who are entering the military stand and be recognized at our awards assembly each spring. It recognizes that some of our young people want to go on and do something worthwhile with their life... and it would be wrong to protest that, regardless of what a faculty member believed politically, because such conduct is unethical for a teacher. Aside from the incredible lack of patriotism and pacifist foolishness....
My grandfather, who grew up on a Midwest farm, was fired for making pacifist statements in his high-school classroom around 1916. Then he was canned from a teaching job at Whittier College for the same reason.
Fortunately, he straightened out eventually.
“I think that it’s important to show dissent,” he said. “I think that’s the highest form of patriotism.”
The highest form of patriotism is to VOLUNTEER to go under arms in defense of your country, your neighbor, and the stranger down the street...
I thought there was a caveat to “dissent is the highest form of patriotism” when it came to dissenting against 0bama and democRats.
Whatever you think these teachers look like......you’re right.
Yeah, you dissent AGAINST Boy Wonder and the Demos at your own peril....
Caller to Dan Rea last night said these two teachers actively push their students to NOT join the military