LETTER: Defense of censorship was nauseating

To the editor:

As we are in the season of graduation, I hope you will allow this retired educator to reflect on the Early College yearbook fiasco.

First, let me address the nauseating defense of censorship offered up by John Robich (Richmond County Daily Journal, June 3-4). His attempts to ingratiate the reader by extolling the virtues of the Early College at the expense of censorship is an abysmal failure. He delights that school officials “put down” the yearbook as if free speech were a rabid dog.

Mr. Robich reinforces his moralistic rant stating the potential threat of information that neither he or any of the public had access to, yet he claims that information “potentially inflammatory, controversial and offensive.”

Sir, you need a refresher course in Constitutional Law 101.

His most laughable observation goads the reader to be concerned over how posterity might perceive the yearbook in question. Yes, Mr. Robich, the students will remember the yearbook, but not for the reasons you so smugly suggest.

They will recall how obsessed school officials used collusion to steal the work of a year of collaboration. Where are they confiscated books? Have they been destroyed? At least the Nazis burned their books in public. Oh, that one copy still copy still exists to be downloaded to the freedom of the internet.

In his arrogantly condescending tone, Mr. Robich admonishes those who disagree with him to consider the “big picture.”

Yes, we see the “big picture.” The educational caste system is alive and well in Richmond County. Do you really think our citizens will acquiesce to such thinking?

At every turn, he insults the intelligence of the reader’s ability to make their own moral choices. That Principal Waddell made the “right and morally good decision” would make it astounding that students and parents can make these choices at all! It’s a sure bet that next year’s publication will be closely scrutinized…oops…sanitized.

Our superintendent’s failure to publicly weigh in on the crisis has been noted. Her silence speaks volumes. With the national spotlight on our school system, Dr. Goodman missed an opportunity for transparency in her administration.

Some would want to maintain the status quo. Sorry folks. Pandora’s Box has been opened and things will never be the same again.

In recent months, we have witnessed massive student walkouts in our state over social issues. It is to their credit our students chose not to disrupt their education.

Are you listening administrators? Who are the adults in this scenario?

Congratulations to the graduates of Early College. Despite the despicable act of betrayal perpetrated on you, you still hold the promise of a democratic society. Never let anyone or group of people put braces on your brains. My prayer of you, in the words of one spiritual revolutionary, is to continue to “ask, seek and knock” all the days of your life.

I applaud the Daily Journal for keeping the issue in the forefront. Although our school officials are on report, you can be sure you have not heard the last of their draconian antics.

Vigilance is the price we pay for freedom. I hope Richmond County’s motto “Fiat Justicia,” (Let Justice Be Done) will prevail in the end.

Eddie Russell