Rep. Hinchley Still Spinning Rove-Forged-the-Documents Theories | Main | Jeff Gannon Implicated in Kennedy Assassination?
February 23, 2005

Soldier Shocked To Receive Nasty Letters From Schoolchildren

JimW sent me this story, found by LGF, a few days ago:

Pfc. Rob Jacobs of New Jersey said he was initially ecstatic to get a package of letters from sixth-graders at JHS 51 in Park Slope last month at his base 10 miles from the North Korea border.

That changed when he opened the envelope and found missives strewn with politically charged rhetoric, vicious accusations and demoralizing predictions that only a handful of soldiers would leave the Iraq war alive.

...

One Muslim boy wrote: “Even thoe [sic] you are risking your life for our country, have you seen how many civilians you or some other soldier killed?”

His letter, which was stamped with a smiley face, went on: “I know your [sic] trying to save our country and kill the terrorists but you are also destroying holy places like Mosques.”

Most of the 21 letters Jacobs provided to The Post mentioned some support for the armed forces, if not the Iraq war, and thanked him for his service. But nine of the students made clear their distaste for the president or the war.

The letters were written as a social-studies assignment. The JHS 51 teacher, Alex Kunhardt, did not return phone calls, but the school principal, Xavier Costello, responded with a statement:

“While we would never censor anything that our children write, we sincerely apologize for forwarding letters that were in any way inappropriate to Pfc. Jacobs. This assignment was not intended to be insensitive, but to be supportive of the men and women in service to our nation.”

You would never censor anything that your children write? Really? If the assignment was to write supportive letters to cancer patients, would they allow some kid to write "Ha, ha, hope you die"?

"We cannot censor/we can never criticize inappropriate and/or vicious statements from the left" is now the true last resort of the scoundrel.

A writer named Sher Zieve followed up on this story, making the claim that the teacher in question had encouraged kids to write this sort of stuff. I didn't want to link that, because I saw no evidence, so far, that such encouragement (or "indoctrination," as Zieve also calls it) had occurred.

I wrote an email to Zieve asking about this charge. He responded today:

What I can tell you is:

* As of yesterday (per PFC Jacobs father), JHS 51 principal made a statement that Kunhardt had reviewed and approved all of the letters; prior to them being sent to Jacobs. Today the principal backed off of this statement

* The letters contain both adult language (the vilifications) and language usually attributed to a child in the sixth-grade (the "thank yous" from students)

* Today, Kunhardt was asked by the NY Post if he, specifically, added the demoralizing language to the 9 letters. Kunhardt refused to answer

I don't think the first two really support the claim at all. But I do find it curious, if it's true, that Kunhardt "refused to answer" a question about adding demoralizing language to the letters.

Look, if it's not true, why would someone refuse to answer? I suppose there's the possibility of the old "I will not dignify that question with an answer," which is generally taken to be a denial (if a denial with a few outs in in it), but heck, if I were in the same position, I would just say "Of course not. Don't be an ass."

I still don't think there's nearly enough in the record to make that sort of charge against Kunhardt.

However, it's pretty clear to me that Kunhardt didn't mind sending patently demoralizing letters to soldiers in the field. Even if he didn't want to "censor" his sixth-grade students, why not send the nasty letters to Donald Rumsfield, rather than a specific soldier in the field, who can't, after all, influence foreign policy any more than a wannabe-activist teacher Park Slope?


digg this
posted by Ace at 01:56 PM

| Access Comments




Recent Comments
Insomniac - Getting Microaggressed on the Daily, Yo!: "Another good one for the Food Thread. Anyone famil ..."

Sandra F.: "[i]That means they're really being hard if Jimmy c ..."

Mike Hammer, etc., etc.: "Are we now lactophilia intolerant? Posted by: buz ..."

Lost Shaker Assault: "I've been a chef, cook, and restaurant manager 35 ..."

Donna&&&&V sez: Sorry Tribe fans. Go Astros!: "Not entirely OT, here is a vid of some sane - and ..."

Cosmic Charlie: "Tina Weymouth was extraordinary ..."

buzzsaw90: "One word: lactophilia. And celebrity chefs. Pu ..."

filbert: "[i]"Diversity" by itself is valueless. A bucket of ..."

Insomniac - Getting Microaggressed on the Daily, Yo!: "508 Let's face it, diversity is weakness, straight ..."

colfax mingo: "Eromero, Not a poet, but not a bullshitter eith ..."

Mike Hammer, etc., etc.: "It starts with lactophilia, then, the pudding. ..."

publius, the Persistent Poperin Pear: " Another good one for the Food Thread. Anyone fa ..."

Recent Entries
Search


MuNuvians
Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
News/Chat
Archives
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64