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Free Speech Does Not Stop at the School House Doors – VALLEY PATRIOT EDITORIAL (5-19)

For too long, public education officials in this country have been bullying students in the classroom with impunity, preaching their political opinions as fact, and punishing students who do not comport with their approved political views.

Nowhere is this more true than in the Andover Schools.

In November of 2006, The Valley Patriot covered in detail the exploits of Andover High teacher, Ron Francis, who was preaching Jew Hatred to his students and also making anti-Semitic statements in public. He was never fired or disciplined for his racism.

Here we are in 2019 and the bullies in the Andover schools are still at it.

Last month, a group of students at Andover High walked out of class in protest of the firing of the hockey coach.
A few of those students spoke to the media and expressed their displeasure at the principal’s personal beef against the hockey coach for not playing his son enough on the team.

The following day, the Andover Patch reported that the students who spoke to the media were suspended from school for “talking to the media.”

It ever there was an example of our out of control public education system, Andover is it.

These students have a constitutional right to free speech and that right does not end at the school-house doors. It certainly does not apply to students outside the school-house doors.

We find it sad that these students are not only indoctrinated with the political views of their so-called “educators” and “administrators” but are also being taught that because they are part of a school institution their rights under the 1st Amendment are no longer valid.

No wonder why so many young people have no clue about the founding of our constitutional republic (notice we didn’t say democracy) or the freedoms our Constitution guarantee them, when the educators who are supposed to teach it to them are usurping those very rights every day.

What’s even more stunning is that the school committee has known for years about the political indoctrination, and bullying of the students at Andover High and have done nothing about it.

They have known for years that administrators and teachers are teaching kids about global warming, abortion, gay marriage, income inequality, and a host of other subjective political opinions as if they are fact, but not teaching these kids the basics of our freedoms.

Yet, they do nothing about it.

They make excuses.

They cite “policies” as if Andover High policies override the Constitution. Year after year, decade after decade, they look the other way while this continues unchallenged.

Don’t believe us?

Go back and google “Call it What it is, Jew Hatred” or “Ron Francis” coupled with “The Valley Patriot” and look at the dates of those stories we wrote in 2004, 2005, and 2006.

Then compare it to what is going on at Andover High today;

Bullying students, silencing dissent, indoctrinating students to believe ‘hate speech’ is an exception to the 1st Amendment, and then arbitrarily deciding what is hate speech and what is not. Students being punished for expressing an opinion that the administration doesn’t like.

Then ask yourself, can this kind of thing happen without the tacit consent of the elected officials on the school committee? I think we all know the answer to that question.

It has to stop.

We call on every member of the Andover School Committee to put a stop to it now, or resign and let someone else take a leadership role in the way our kids are educated … or in this case indoctrinated.

We also call on the parents of Andover High students to come forward and let their voices be heard when this kind of fascism is shoved down the throats of their children.

Speak up at public participation at school committee meetings, write letters to the editor of your local paper, and if that doesn’t work … call us. We promise we won’t look the other way as two decades of School Committee members have in the past.

Tom Duggan

Tom Duggan

Tom Duggan is president and publisher of The Valley Patriot Newspaper in North Andover, Massachusetts. He is an author, host of the Paying Attention TV/Radio Program, lectures on media bias and police issues, is a former Lawrence School Committeeman, former political director for Mass. Citizens Alliance, and a 1990 Police Survivor. You can email your comments to valleypatriot@aol.com.

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