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Archive for Thursday, November 29, 1990

SILLY CRITICISM

November 29, 1990

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To the Editor:

I am concerned about the criticism (page 1A, Nov. 26) of students writing letters to U.S. troops involved in Operation Desert Shield in Saudi Arabia as classroom assignment. Is writing to some lonely serviceman or woman who is risking his or her life for us in Saudi Arabia really a controversial issue? Does a friendly letter to one of them indicate its writer has been "indoctrinated?" What nonsense!

Rather than criticizing teachers who have given students an opportunity to write letters as an assignment, I believe those teachers should be commended for encouraging their students to be compassionate and loyal to those who are serving their country. I hope the letter-writing critics will remember that most of the troops are not over these because they want to be; and to deny them the support of letters from school children back home seems to me to be most unkind, to say the least.

Yes, I have a daughter in the VII Artillery Corps who told me only yesterday that she is on her way to the desert area somewhere in Saudi Arabia, and she told me she would appreciate letters from home more than anything else. Therefore, I hope that no teacher or administrator will be intimidated or discouraged from gulf letter-writing assignments. In my opinion, American servicemen and women should not suffer or be denied a friendly letter this Christmas season because of a few who think they may have found a violation of board policy concerning the treatment of what they insist upon calling "controversial issues."

As a retired English teacher after 20 years of service at LHS, I have faith in the judgment and fairness of teachers who choose to make such writing assignments, and I doubt that any student is being forced to write something in which he does not believe.

Harold Piehler,

610 W. 29th Pl.

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