Brent,For what it is worth, I believe you.Keep up the good work,Ray
I second Ray. Do not let the comments discourage you. Runner
Brent,Thank you for responding. While I understand getting busy it is very important to take time for these matters in order to answer questions that arise from a Story. I understand how students act differently when being pressured by teachers and administrator directly. I am also sorry that the LSJ did not correct the record. I am, however, glad that you did.Tony
Brent, I am glad to see your response. It is unfortunate that in today's world getting into public political debates usually results in intense personal attacks. Liberals, unfortuately, don't care who they smear to achieve their goals.When I wrote to the principal on your behalf, he wrote me back. One of his biggest complaints was that you and Oliver didn't talk to him before sending out the press release. He said the issue could have been resolved otherwise. Second, he said that the teachers were merely "cleaning up after lunch time" and not ripping up or throwing away your papers with any malicious intent. Do you have any comment on these remarks?
Below is the press release. We can all judge how consistent it is with the post above.
I also question how he could "know" something happened when he did not see it happen.October 4, 2005
Release No. 05-019
Contact: Oliver Wolf, (412) 760-5482
Nathaniel Walton, (781) 248 0808
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Lewiston High School Student Threatened with Suspension for Exercising First Amendment Rights; College Republicans Urge InvestigationLEWISTON, Maine - The Maine College Republicans express strong support of Lewiston High School senior Brent Bowen, whose First Amendment rights were violated by a member of the schoolâ€™s faculty during an unfortunate incident there last week.The incident occurred last Monday when Bowen, who founded the first Teenage Republican chapter in Maine, was handing out copies of the official Maine College Republican newspaper, "The Pachyderm Press," in the school cafeteria:
â€œAfter handing out the paper at the first lunch, an openly socialist teacher came up and questioned me,â€ recounted Bowen. â€œShe asked whether I had permission to hand out the paper.â€ After replying that there was no policy
regarding handouts at lunch, the faculty member then told Bowen he had to get permission from school administrators to continue handing the newspaper out. â€œI didnâ€™t know I needed permission to practice free speech,â€ Bowen remarked.After receiving the support of the schoolâ€™s vice principal to continue handing out The Pachyderm Press, Bowen was confronted by a group of faculty who threatened him with suspension. â€œItâ€™s actually not the first time Iâ€™ve been threatened like that because of my political views,â€ said Bowen. â€œAnother Lewiston High School faculty member ripped four or five of the newspapers up in frustration after hearing I had permission to distribute them. The papers certainly made quite a splash at Lewiston High,â€ he concluded.Nathaniel Walton (Bates â€™08), Chairman of the Maine College Republicans, is appalled by the violation of Bowenâ€™s First Amendment rights: â€œI spend so much of my time discussing classroom bias and lack of academic freedom on Maineâ€™s
college campuses. It is profoundly disappointing to see the same problems are
rampant on the K-12 level as well.â€â€œThe behavior of these faculty members is as unprofessional as it is reprehensible and should be subject to official review by Lewiston education officials," Walton added as he urged an investigation. "I have worked with Brent and know him to be an upstanding young man undeserving of such treatment. The Maine College Republicans stand solidly behind Brent in his fight for academic freedom,â€ concluded Walton.Bowenâ€™s incident comes less than a week after renowned conservative author and academic freedom advocate David Horowitz visited two Maine college campuses to discuss academic freedom issues. Horowitzâ€™s visit received significant press attention and raised greater awareness of the problem of classroom bias on
Maineâ€™s college campuses.Brent Bowen is available for interviews/further comments on the violation of his First Amendment rights at Lewiston High School. He can be reached at (207) 462-9161 (cell) or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.For more information on the Maine College Republicans, please visit the organizationâ€™s website at [url=http://www.mainecr.org.]http://www.mainecr.org.[/url]###Oliver Wolf
Maine College Republicans
746 Bates College
Lewiston, ME 04240-6068
(412) 760-5482 (Mobile)
Wow, I'm getting wicked confused. In another thread Military man states
quote:It wasn't even a week after David Horowitz spoke at Bates on this very subject,when it happens in the Lewiston High School.
Nate Walton responds
quote:Brent's incident occurred on Monday, September 26, before David Horowitz came to Maine. The timing of was coincidental but not completely so if you take in a larger perpsective
Now Oliver Wolf states in the press release
quote:Bowenâ€™s incident comes less than a week after renowned conservative author and academic freedom advocate David Horowitz visited two Maine college campuses to discuss academic freedom issues.
Now we know this is not true, according to Brent on the Ray show.
quote:After receiving the support of the schoolâ€™s vice principal to continue handing out The Pachyderm Press, Bowen was confronted by a group of faculty who threatened him with suspension.
Brent, I apologize on behalf of the nitpickers.It it helps, chalk it up to years of relentlessly striving for total accuracy and precision in all details political and economic. That tends to create a carry-over effect. Sometimes the issue warrants it, other times it doesn't. We all need to remember there's a difference.I think you're doing a terrific job.
Brent, Nate, there is an organization called "FIRE", which fights for freedom of speech on school campuses. I suggest you check out their web site: [url=http://www.thefire.org]www.thefire.org[/url]
Come on, Brent. The group thing is ridiculous. If someone says they were attacked by a group of four people, the reader would not think the person had been attacked at four different times by one person each time.The press release was trying to blow this up into more than it was and played fast and loose with the facts in doing it.When you express political views, people are going to disagree with you. Sometimes they are not going to be very nice about it. If you can't take it, politics isn't for you.It is interesting to note how conservative students are using the same rhetoric and tactics as the proponents of the gay rights bill. Both groups love to play the victim.
Brent, my suggestion to you, is you should carry around a little notebook in your pocket. Write down names, dates and things that were said and who said them. In heightened situations, interpretations change quickly. This practice will save you a lot of ass-aches in the future. Honesty and integrity means a lot to alot of people. Don't embellish, it always comes back to bite you. Now I have no further responses. I hope the GOP will learn from this.
Brent -I, for one, encourage your efforts. There may be some minor semantic differneces that appear as this continues to unfold, However the "big picture" regrettably rings true. Stick to your guns, believe in yourself and ultimately the truth in the big picture will prevail.
Brent, if you don't think Dan is the expert of all things and opinions on AMG, and knows all above all others, just ask him and he will tell you so. :p D
Try not to judge AMG by the actions of a few. Some people specialize in picking the fly sh!+ out of the pepper.[ 10-08-2005: Message edited by: Mike Travers ]
Mike, can I interpret that as seeking the truth and demanding accountability.I donâ€™t buy into fluff.
I know Brent's story, but haven't read all of the press releases and comments involved.From reading this thread I would tell Brent that those questioning the accounts of what happened to him at his high school are, in at least one sense, doing him a favor.Two people helped me a great deal when I was brand spanking new to politics: Natalie & Gerald Sirkin. They invited me over for tea after reading my first political letter to the editor. And during my visit the Sirkins gave me two pieces of advice I cherish.The Sirkins said, "Scott, whenever you write something (for publication) make sure you facts are correct, and don't get overemotional."Hearsay and anecdotal evidence aren't necessarily facts. And an unfriendly press or an unfriendly political opponent can - and often will - use hearsay and anecdotes to undermine otherwise credible stories and credible people.My advice - although you didn't ask for it - is to chalk this one up to experience that you can use to your advantage in the future.Best,
Brent -Thanks for your efforts. A few comments:1. You have explained enough. When you get into explaining in politics, they have you where they want you. Make sure your facts are iron clad and let them stand. I saw embellishment for effect in the original press release and I think a reasonable person can clearly see it. Don't let adults posting behind psuedonyms get you down. The view from 15,000 feet is that the Union bitch tried to squelch you and now they are circling the wagons around her.2. I have dealt with the partisan Democrats at the Sun-Journal to know exactly what you mean. These people don't know how it is to be embarrassed by the lefties down on Park Street. When I ran for State Senate, the personal attacks started early and continued for months, stretching incredibly into January after the election. They even ran a large campaign ad I had scheduled to run on Election Day morning on Wednesday, the day AFTER the election. The depths of their mean spirt is absolutely astounding. My advice for your future is to simply refuse to talk to anyone from that newspaper. Ignore them. They are out to hurt you, in a diabolical manner, in any way they can. If they can't parse quotes from you, one of their weapons are taken away from them.Most of your friends will likely be moving away soon in search of education, the military and job opportunties. This place will be fondly remembered as a nice place to grow up, and as a bad dream politically. You are surrounded by the bluest people in the bluest state in the nation. Take them for what they are worth.
Well said, Bob! Brent I encourage your to go West and prosper. I would be a shame for you to get stuck here in Maine when you could do much better somewhere else. Go West young man and prosper, and don't look back.Tony
Way to go, Brent. You are one heck of a man-kid, and Maine needs many - thousands more like you and Nate. You've made your case, and the LSJ will do anything they can to paint you as a radical conservative - hated. Don't pay any more attention to them.
I suspect that the principal is blowing smoke at us when he says that the teachers were only picking up the cafeteria after lunch and that is why they threw the newspapers away. I don't believe that at all, and during my 30 years of teaching in the public schools, I saw plenty of so-called adults who would not hesitate to lie.
Teachers cleaning up after students? I doubt that very much. If that were true, then that would mean that the students were in charge.
Keep up the good work, Brent.
Press on, Brent.Your experience is drawing out the best and worst in other people. Thank you for exposing THEM.Carry on.
[ 10-10-2005: Message edited by: MilitaryMan ]