Letters to the editorThe Publisher's Desk

Response to “Publisher’s Note” of 11-22-2012

Dear Publisher:

By your own words you are attempting to censure anyone who takes issue with Lisa Baldwin. Free speech is a two-way street; never a one-way street. Is she the only one who has the key to what is right or wrong with our school system? Is it right for her to say whatever is on her mind, without response? Is she the only one who knows how to think critically? And by her own words, she brings on criticism. And then those of us who choose to take issue with her are berated for using our critical thinking skills in making our comments known to the public. I might add here, that thinking comes before using words. Words come after we think, or sometimes before we think. The old axiom still holds true, “think before you act.”

As a former principal, had I used the words, Heil Hitler, in reference to the board of education, I would have been fired on the spot, and rightly so; and I would have expected to be taken to task by the community. To put it more strongly, I would be unfit to to be a principal. I would not be able to justify the usage of those words any more than I could by yelling “fire” in a crowded theater.

The publisher of this paper is trying to intimidate and brow-beat me into not using words or phrases simply because they are not politically correct or not liked. The ultimate evil is when people do not stand up and let their thoughts be known. The ultimate evil is when people do nothing; because they do not want to get involved.

Is this newspaper willing to protect my word usage and thoughts, too? It seems not.

Tommy Koontz

Arden, NC

Publisher’s Response:

Dear Mr. Koontz,

Being able to express reasonably what one thinks without fear of communal retribution thru intimidation by a threat of firing or being expelled from school should be a priority for an intelligent educator such as you. Too many people are fearful of just such reprisals if they speak out about any number of things.

I completely fail to understand how you can say this paper was in any way trying to brow beat you into not using a word or phase.

In fact, that is exactly what you were doing to Ms Baldwin. You are making a very good case for her.

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