Forest Lake High School Principal Steve Massey spoke on his decision to cancel Vets for Freedom on Tuesday, in an in depth interview with the Forest Lake Times:
When news of the visit broke eight days ago, the school began to hear some noise of protest, Massey said. That noise grew louder and Massey’s concerns greater when the Vets for Freedom planned a media event in the high school parking lot prior to the visit with students.
“The event became quite public,” Massey said. Fearing protests and disruptions to the school day, Massey moved late Monday to call off the event.
“We felt we had structured a teaching tool for our students,” he said. But with the publicity starting to grow, Massey said he believed the mere presence of the organization on campus in any fashion would bring anti-war and pro-war protestors to the school.
Massey said public schools must walk a “fine line” and it should not be the school’s place to push any form of political agenda.
“We had an awesome event planned,” he said. “It’s unfortunate we couldn’t have pulled this off.”
I found it extremely unfortunate that Massey made the decision he did, as it was a "teachable moment" of the kind teachers talk about as one of the most important aspects of education. Instead, students learned to cave in the face of the slightest pressure from radicals.
But for someone unused to the type of pressure - the hate, the threats, etc. - the far left uses routinely, it's not that surprising he freaked out, especially if he was not familiar with their brand of discourse. Of course, that turned out to be nothing compared to the reaction from people concerned soldiers were being censored:
On Wednesday, Massey and other school officials in ISD 831 were digging out from under the avalanche of e-mails to hit school computers after Tuesday’s Vets for Freedom tour stop at the high school was called off by Massey.
Phone banks were also jammed, mostly by people upset with the school and venting about the school decision, Massey said.
By noon, Massey said he had received well over 700 e-mails and more than 150 voice-mail messages on his phone.
Ya. People don't really dig it when you cave to political censorship. Something tells me Massey will be much better prepared if something like this ever happens again.