This is truly sad. Apparently a young soldier (the brother of one of Emperor Misha's readers, as it turns out), serving currently in Korea, received apackage of letters from an elementarty school in New York. I've been told there are few things more bolstering to morale than receiving letters from home. Unfortunately, these letters were not all of a supportive nature:
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.
This is utterly shameful. I know that the left argues repeatedly that they support the troops but oppose the war. And I'm sure there are many who truly believe that. But they need to be made aware of the fact that there is an undercurrent within their political stream that does NOT truly support the troops. Incidents like the harassment of a recruiter at Seattle Community College, the Pearsalls, and this, indicate that there are plenty of people willing to direct their anger and disapproval directly at the troops.
The school from which the letters were sent has tried to distance itself from the controversy:
The JHS 51 teacher, Alex Kunhardt, did not return phone calls, but the school principal, Xavier Costello, responded with a statement:
"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."
This is a cop-out. These are schoolchildren in a classroom, not adults exercizing their free speech. This was an ASSIGNMENT. If the teacher had the authority to assign these children to write the letters, he had the authority to ensure they were appropriate to the stated intent of the assignment. Since he obviously did not, I can only reach one of two conclusions: Either he shirked his duty to review the letters, or he himself approved of their content.
In either case, he's not conveying the kind of message I hope my child learns some day.