No Free Speech For Mainland Students
By Seth Grossman, Political Columnist
“We study what is, never why, never what should be.?? For that reason, the education we have received here is not only incomplete– it is entirely hollow. … This same lack of focus can be found in many of the subjects we do study. … I was moved by the countless hours wasted in those halls. … But I know how highly this community values learning, and I urge you all to re-evaluate what it means to be educated.?
Kareem Elnahal -Mainland Regional High School Commencement Speaker, June 21, 2006.?? For?Mr. Elnahal’s full?speech, click here.
“Unlike you all, Mainland’s administration does not value education as highly as it should. … The biggest lesson I have learned here is that it’s not what you know that matters — it’s who you know.?? Certain clubs and activities are approved right away while others are completely ignored and only approved after hard work and constant persuasion. Class officers’ election results suddenly include ties, and certain positions are shared.?? National tests are retaken.?? Graduation requirements are changed or “specified” suddenly to fit the needs of certain people. … Mainland needs to wake up and see that it is no longer the Blue Ribbon school it was before.”???
Jennifer Chau, Mainland Regional High School Commencement Speaker, June 19, 2008.?? For Ms. Chau’s full speech, click here.
“It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.”
Voltaire, French author and philosopher (1694?- 1778).
??? Many current and former students of Mainland High School (including my own kids) admired the courage of both Kareem Elnahal and Jennifer Chau, and agreed with what they said.
We adults should do the same.?? The “politically correct” curriculums of even our “Blue Ribbon” public schools are not preparing our kids for the dangerous world around them.?? We are not teaching our kids the technical, business or military skills they need to compete with their counterparts in China, India, Japan, or Iran.?
We should stop forcing our kids to play sports they don’t like, and will never play again as adults, just to get partial scholarships to colleges that are way overpriced.?? We should stop forcing them to “volunteer” for “community service” projects that do little except help the needy to tolerate the failed government programs and rotten politicians that made them needy in the first place.?? We should teach our kids to question why college is so expensive, instead of how to lobby politicians for better deals on student loans.?? We should allow students to be challenged by “annoying” groups like Liberty and Prosperity.
Our high school students today are like the young people I met in Moscow and St. Petersburg (then Leningrad) in 1988, just before the old Soviet Union collapsed.
Both Elnahal and Chau lied to their teachers, administrators, and families when they gave different speeches from the ones they submitted for approval.?? But would school officials have given them permission to speak the truth if they did not?
On July 4, 1776, our nation was founded on the idea of “self-evident” truths.?? This includes the idea that certain “unalienable rights” cannot be taken away by any government officials – not even public high school principals.
Speaking the truth has always been recognized as one of those “unalienable rights” in America.?? William Penn, the founder of Philadelphia, came to America after he was jailed in England for the crime of speaking to a crowd without a government permit.
??? John Peter Zenger was arrested and put on trial in New York in 1735, when his newspaper criticized the British Governor in defiance of a law that made any criticism of any public official a crime.?? But the jury acquitted Zenger after finding that Zenger’s statements were true.
??? Was commencement the “wrong” time and place for Elnahal and Chau to make their statements??? But if so, when was the “right” time?
??? I and my whole Liberty and Prosperity group are banned from any contact with Mainland students.?? We can not even appear at its after-school political science club or taxpayer funded television and radio stations.?? Since grades and recommendations at Mainland depend on “who you know”, students dare not speak the truth about how their school is run until after they are safely accepted into college.?
??? In most other countries, schools value the opinions of their students.?? Administrators ask students to complete anonymous written evaluations of their teachers and course materials after every semester.?? Only here in America’s NEA and NJEA union-run “public” schools, are the opinions of students so completely silenced.
For more information, visit www.libertyandprosperity.org or contact Somers Point attorney Seth Grossman at email@example.com or 609-927-7333.??? Seth Grossman hosts a two way talk radio program every Saturday from 8am – 9am on WVLT Vineland, 92.1 FM.? July 4 March and Picnic at Smithville Blvd., Galloway Township at 8:30 A.M. instead of Saturday morning breakfast discussion at Athena Diner this week only.