Having grandchildren in the MAPS district, I support the parents and concerned citizens objecting to the book Montana 1948 introduced to MAPS students.
Isn’t it our responsibility to ask questions? I question if using profane language and sexually explicit descriptions would be permissible in material according to MAPS policy. In the MAPS District System Usage Guideline for the internet, I found it is not permissible. Are we so desensitized to this type of language that it has become acceptable as the norm in society, to the point that we allow it in the materials given to our children in our schools? We then cite them for disorderly conduct when they use profanity towards their teachers! Would this be suitable print for a newspaper? Are these words and mental pictures what our teachers want their students to retain? Words from our mouth reflect what is in our heart and soul.
How could asking questions of the district cost $10,000, as claimed in the June 8 letter to the editor?
Why does it seem the elected officials and administration focus on the actions of the conerned parents and citizens versus addressing the issues?
Rather than listening sessions, perhaps the BOE members could reach out to the community by knocking on doors for input.
Exactly what is the price we are willing to pay to protect the minds and souls of our children? Will we have any moral compass left in 10, 20, or 30 years in our communities, state or country? God save our children!
I find it so interesting that your recent issue of June 8th (Letters to the Editor) contained some passages out of the Old Testament in an effort to justify the use of the filth-ridden book, Montana 1948, into the curriculum of MAPS.
First of all, I urge the writer to check the passages she is quoting: most likely she is referring to Ezekiel 23:44 as her first reference, and Exodus 21:7-11. One of the dangers of viewing Sacred Scriptures and parsing certain passages to justify a cause is that one must then ignore the vast majority of God’s Word. But wait, God’s Word is NOT ALLOWED IN OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS, so how could those children (I emphasize the word “children” since 10th graders are not yet adults by definition) have a basis for comparison with what is moral and what is immoral.
The first reference, by the way, is referencing Israel’s unfaithfulness to God, not the individual sexual exploits of a particular person.
The second passage is a way for the whole tribe of Israel to conduct itself. All of the commandments and ways of living were to give order to their way of life. Without order we have chaos. Again, one must view the Word of God in its entirety, not just as “the words of God.”
And yes, the Jews took it literally that “whoever strikes his mother or father shall be put to death.” Honor and shame were two of the most important aspects of their culture. Maybe the writer needs a reminder that the Fourth Commandment reads, “Thou shalt honor thy father and thy mother.”
Trying to protect our children from explicit sexual conduct is not a harkening back to the Dark Ages as the writer suggested. Banning books and censorship are part of the RIGHTS of the community at large… otherwise why doesn’t the District have copies of Hustler and Swank on the shelves. If they did, they could see first-hand the “hard nipples” and the “little bit of pubic hair” that this wonderful book Montana 1948 includes in its writings.
In Old Testament times females were pretty much chattel… mere property. No one is suggesting we return to those days (even though some cultures still feel that way). By Wisconsin law the school districts have an obligation to teach morals to our youth, or children. It is the right of taxpayers – whether they have students in the system or not – to monitor what government officials do and how they conduct themselves.
Perhaps I and other area clergy should attend the next “open” meeting of the BOE. I’ve never been arrested but am more than willing to have the school district try to stop me and others as we exercise our free speech and moral imperatives for the betterment of the Merrill community.
Rev. Michael McLain
Pastor, St. Francis Xavier Catholic Parish
Dear Citizens of the MAPS district,
A journey that started in January 201 resulted in a group of concerned citizens coming together who formed an informal group called Concerned Parents and Citizens of the Merrill School District.
Our mission statement is: To bridge the gap between the Merrill Area School District, including private and charter institutions, and the citizens of that district.
1. Educating citizens about concerns related to the school district by disseminating important information.
2. Supporting local control.
3. We are committed to accountability, honesty, integrity and character, those qualities we expect within our school district.
Some examples of what we have done is sponsoring the viewing of videos, doing interviews locally and nationally, as we had a spot on Focus on the Family, writing letters to the editor, speaking engagements, and contacting legislators in our state and at the national level. Our most recent activity was submitting forms representing 39 citizens requesting the removal of the adult rated book, Montana 1948, from our school.
We have monthly meetings, an email address: firstname.lastname@example.org, and email list. Let us know if you have a concern, want to be involved and/or want to be added to the email list. To learn a bit of what we have been experiencing on this journey with our school district, please take the time to watch the YouTube video entitled: CPAC speech at Rotary 6-7-11.
There are serious issues in our district that need to be addressed. As Christians, it troubles us to see the Holy Bible misquoted. Secular humanism, which opposes Christianity, is a religion that endorses the sexualization of our children, among other things, resulting in the destruction of the moral fabric of which this great nation was founded upon, sadly, has been woven into the curriculum taught in the public schools across our country. We expect better for our children. Leadership is a responsibility based upon respect, therefore, anyone can choose to apply.
Karen Cournaya, CPAC President
Even though things may be lawful, not all things are helpful. Even though things may be allowed, not all things build up.
Leaders have difficult decisions, but make them because they believe it is best thing to do, in the circumstances that are presented. The Merrill Area Schools and the School Board have an opportunity to truly show their leadership. School leaders are elected and hired into their position to do what is best for the children they represent.
Ratings are placed on books and movies by outside sources to help leaders to make appropriate decisions. No underage child should be given or shown in our school system, a book or movie rated Adult!! I really don’t need to hear everyone’s personal opinion, this should be a standard. I cringe when I hear people today use the word “censorship,” because that has become a buzzword for “allow me to do whatever I want.” I really don’t care if someone wants to allow their children to do this in their home, that is their right, but do it in your own homes not in a public arena. As for the comments on the stories in the Bible, please remember the Bible is not allowed in our school system, so the previous arguments made in the paper about all the stories in the Bible seem to be ineffective.
Everyone makes mistakes, yes, even leaders. A good leader recognizes when they have made an error and corrects it. Now is the time for Merrill Area School Board and administrators to recognize its error and correct it. It is a time for this school system to work together for the betterment of all children. No one is arguing that there aren’t enough great books that everyone can agree with and that can be used for the purpose of the English Literature Class. So let’s work together to find the books and use those.
Let’s start building up our community with positive teachings!!
Letter to the Editor:
Generous Donors Make Merrill High School Graduation Celebration a Success!
Thanks to a dedicated group of parents and friends, and the generosity of area businesses and individuals, the Merrill High graduating class again enjoyed an all-night party with lots of activities, friends and food. This post-graduation celebration is in its eleventh year and continues to grow. This year 70% of the graduates attended and were treated to a host of fun activities. Hypnotist, magician, caricature artist and a photo booth were hits, along with our newest attraction; the bungee run and blow up boxing ring. Of course there were the old favorites; human bowling, sumo wrestling, a disc jockey, casino games and free food! Door prizes and grand prizes rounded out the evening.
With almost 150 donors we can’t begin to list them all, but want to express our sincere gratitude to all of you for making the Merrill Graduation Celebration a success! This continued support from the community provides a fun and safe activity for our proud graduates. Thank you! Thank you!
If you would like to help, or contribute next year, please contact Brenda Johnas at 715-539-1121.
The Graduation Celebration Committee
There is no denying it now; an election is just around the corner. Campaign signs are popping up all over town and letters to the editor are hitting the papers. This election is special; we are being given an opportunity to weigh in on whether running away from your duty in order to stop the democratic process is what we expect of our state senator.
I have known Kim Simac for over 10 years. She is an extremely caring individual with strong conservative values. Her passion for this great country comes behind only her faith and her family.
I joined Kim in the recall of Jim Holperin because I shared her opinion of his choice to leave the state. If he had truly left to “give the people a chance to know what was in the bill” he would have returned within a week and the recall would not have happened. Leaving the voters of the 12th district without any representation for over three weeks and stating that he would stay away for “as long as it takes” was totally unacceptable. How can we be sure that the next time there is a tough vote that he isn’t guaranteed a win that he will stay and do his job?
Kim is a small business owner who knows what it is like to deal with a government that has been growing steadily for years. Her close knit family, which includes nine grown children, knows how over regulation and high taxes have stymied job growth and limited opportunities. I’ve gone horseback riding with her and can attest that she truly understands how lucky we are to live in the north woods and how valuable our natural resources are – it’s her belief that local government needs to be an equal partner in managing them.
Kim will be exactly the kind of senator that we need because she is running for office for exactly the right reason: she wants to serve her community. She will take the time to listen to us and will work tirelessly for us. Please support Kim in this vital election.