[saymaListserv] Fw: school board mtg.

Red & Deanna reddeanna at charter.net
Thu Feb 3 21:49:28 JEST 2005

I thought those of you following the Cookeville Friends/School Board story may be interested in seeing the article which appeared in the Cookeville Herald-Citizen on Monday--top right corner of the front page.  


Deanna Nipp
Cookeville Preparative Meeting

----- Original Message ----- 
From: D
Sent: Monday, January 31, 2005 5:01 PM
Subject: Re: school board mtg.

Here's the story for those of you who don't get the H-C.  By the way, the website is www.herald-citizen.com and this story is today;s "Top Story" according to the website!

Peace group wants equal time in schools 
Mary Jo Denton 
Herald-Citizen Staff 

A peace-loving group of citizens wants to distribute literature in Putnam County's three high schools. 
Noting that military recruiters are allowed to set up at the schools and recruit young people for military service, the peace group is asking the Putnam school board's permission to also go into the schools and give students information about alternative ways to serve their country.

The request is being made by Hector Black and Jack Queen, who will attend Thursday's school board meeting.

Black describes the group as "members of a small Quaker Meeting (an historic peace church)," and notes that "some of us are members of Veterans for Peace, a group of men and women in every state in our nation who have served honorably and often with distinction in our armed forces and who believe that war is no longer an option in solving the differences between nations."

In a letter to the Putnam school board, Black and Queen write that "Quakers are not so much against war as for peace."

"We believe that it is more consistent with the teachings of Jesus to live a life that takes away the occasion for war and violence, thus sowing seeds of peace instead of fighting wars," the letter says.

The letter says it is important for students to "understand all sides of a question before making a decision."

"It is crucial, especially in a decision of such importance as joining the armed services, that the person making the choice be fully informed of all possible consequences of such a decision," the letter to the board says. "Information, even if it represents a stand with which we do not agree, is a vital component of education in a democratic nation."

The peace group believes that "young people need to know that there are alternatives to the military and that there are other ways in which they can finance their education and serve their country," the letter says.

The group wants to distribute information in the schools that would "emphasize the full scope of what it means to enlist in the military," the letter says.

That information is "secular in nature" and has already been reviewed by Schools Director Michael Martin and Cookeville High Principal Wayne Shanks, the letter to the board says.

The material does not promote any particular religious belief, and the peace group has no problem with "well informed" young people choosing to join the military, the letter says.

But young people should be "well informed" before making a decision that could "cost them their lives, trouble their consciences or be in violation of their religious beliefs," the letter to the board says.

The military's "massive advertising budget" allows military recruiters to provide students with information about the "positive aspects of military service," and the peace group wants the opportunity "to present another point of view," the letter says.

The group has no intention of "causing a disruption" in the school day, and in fact, it would be inconsistent with their beliefs "to be less than peaceful in our dealings with the students," the letter says.

The group's request has been placed on the school board's agenda for its Feb. 3 meeting. 

Published January 31, 2005 11:43 AM CST 

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