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 Letters Published in February 7, 2007 Issue

 

 

 Feb. 7, 2007 - Letter submitted by Willard M. Avery, Knightstown

I sincerely appreciate and thank those in attendance at the recent observance of my 100th birthday at the Hoosier Gym, and those who were not present but sent cards and notes of best wishes.

I have been abundantly rewarded by clients, business associates and friends during my 70-plus years in Knightstown (72 in the county).

As the town sign says: “Knightstown – A Good Place To Visit/A Better Place to Live.” It certainly has been as far as I am concerned.

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 Feb. 7, 2007 - Letter submitted by Mike Imel, Knightstown

I am writing The Banner once again to address some of the previous letters to the editor written over the past few weeks.

My son, Isaac, was one of the four boys wrongfully expelled from Knightstown High School for making a DVD. I am shocked that so many of you are commenting on a movie you have not even seen.

This was an 80-minute horror movie spoof that killer teddy bears in it and was made by 15-year-old boys. Killer teddy bears! Are you kidding me? How can anyone be threatened by teddy bears? Never in this movie did the boys make a direct threat to do anyone harm, nor did they “boast of continually harassing a female teacher causing her to leave her position.” No one has left their positions.

In today’s times of ongoing school violence, don’t any of you think if this was anything close to a Columbine-type threat that the police and prosecutors would have at least questioned the boys about this matter? The Henry County Prosecutor was quoted as saying he like the movie’s special effects. He also found nothing criminal in this movie.

Sure, there was some bad language and sexual references in the movie, but is that really so unexpected coming from 15-year-old boys? These boys were trying to make a movie like what you would see at independent film festivals. This movie was no different than another movie you pay to go see that is made in Hollywood, except that there were scenes in the film where they made fun of a local teacher. Is that nice? No. But what student hasn’t made fun of a teacher before? They just happened to film themselves doing what students have always done.

I read another comment about someone wanting to know how the movie got to school. A few of the boys brought it there. The movie was not illegal so it is considered protected speech. Bringing it to school was constitutionally OK. What many of you seem to forget is that students, like adults, also have constitutional rights.

Now, as far as the school administration goes, someone needs to be held accountable for this whole ordeal. From Mr. Diagostino to Mr. McGuire to the school board, this all could have been prevented. All you had to do was an independent lawyer for one hour to see if you had any legal ground to stand on. You all should be ashamed of yourselves. You are all a disgrace to this community and this school corporation. You took four very nice boys out of school and vilified them in the press as would be murderers and killers – not to mention the considerable cost to the community for legal fees.

I am asking the community, who will be held accountable for this? Between his short time here and his previous job as superintendent for Warsaw Schools, Mr. McGuire’s decisions and recommendations have resulted in several lawsuits against the school corporations. Why should he care? It’s not his taxes that will go up. What this administration has done to these boys is wrong and we as citizens need to demand someone be held accountable.

My son has been continually harassed by Mr. Diagostino since returning to school. There are members of this community who still feel as if these boys are criminals. All that I know for sure is that no animals, teddy bears or teachers – especially teachers – were hurt in the filming of this very goofy movie. There were, however, four very nice boys who have suffered unspeakable damage by being removed from school, and that is unforgivable. Someone needs to be held accountable.

 

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