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 Letters Published in February 21, 2007 Issue



 Feb. 21, 2007 - Letter submitted by Jeri Flowers, Knightstown

I was perfectly fine with listening and reading all the commentary on the infamous “Teddy Bear Massacre” tape, and up to this point, had kept my opinions to myself. But when Mr. Imel and a couple other citizens from this area wrote in and tried to make these boys seem like victims, I was appalled. How have these boys been victimized? They made a tape, joke or not, insinuating that they are killing another human being, and they are victims? They were kicked out of school, and then allowed to return and make up all of their missed assignments, and they are the victims? Then, to top it off, these poor boys are seeking monetary compensation for all the punishment they endured. Give me a break! That is completely ridiculous.

The boys should have been punished, and most parents who have any morals or discipline in their homes would have stood by the school’s decision. Who cares whether the tape was made at home, at school, or in Timbuktu? It was made, and as a mother of two boys, I would have been mortified to view a tape that my children made insinuating that they are killing another human being. As parents, we teach our children that regardless of whether or not we like another person, that we respect them until they give us a reason not to, especially teachers, who dedicate their time to help provide our children with an education.

Dan Clevenger was my teacher, and I can honestly say that he was a good person and I learned a lot from him. He was fair and treated every student equally, and perhaps that is where the problem lies. Some children walk into a classroom thinking that they are deserving of preferential treatment, and Mr. Clevenger never treated one student better than another. Everyone was treated equally, and this is the way that it should be.

Mr. Imel, how would you feel if that tape was made about your son or your father? Perhaps then the tape would not have seemed so funny. You have been furious, and rightfully so. The fact that you made jokes about the tape in your last letter has to be like pouring salt in an open wound to Dan Clevenger. He, not your son, is the only victim in this whole ordeal. He should be the one seeking damages from you and your family, so I’d be thanking God that all he wanted was a restraining order.

And where do the citizens in this town think that they have the right to tell Mr. Clevenger whether or not he should have felt threatened? He did, and he is the only one entitled to make that assessment. The video was made about him, not Mrs. Hatton or her husband. Nor was it made about you, J. Miller. If you are so ashamed to be part of this community, then why must you grace us with your presence or snide comments? If you think that you are too good for Knightstown, perhaps you should keep your useless opinions about it to yourself. I personally would feel much better knowing that my children aren’t in a school where parents like you have children attending, anyway.

The fact of the matter is , Dan Clevenger felt threatened, whether you agree with him or not. He feels that he did no overreact, and neither did the judge that issued the restraining order. At least someone in this county’s judicial system has some common sense.

We have sent a message to our children loud and clear, that they are allowed to disrespect their teachers in the most sadistic way possible, so long that it is done away from school. I agree that I had some teachers that I didn’t necessarily care for, but I never would have gone to the extreme measures that those boys did to let it be known.

The four young men who made that tape have been hiding behind their First Amendment rights, and it’s high time that someone stood up and took responsibility for their actions. What are we teaching our children when we defend heinous acts such as these? We are teaching them that when push comes to shove, that mommy and daddy will have to bail us out no matter how wrong or hurtful we are.

I want to personally apologize to Dan Clevenger for the pain and humiliation he has suffered on behalf of these boys and the citizens in this town who are defending what they did to you and your family. This apology is long overdue, and you are very deserving of it.

I would like to close my letter with a message to those boys: You should thank God you got off as easily as you did, because if you were one of my boys, your asses would still be sore.



 Feb. 21, 2007 - Letter submitted by Judy Haase, director, Knightstown Community Food Pantry

Thank you to all who have contributed money, food or worked at the Food Pantry in 2006. This made it possible to help 55 households in Knightstown and surrounding communities. All the support given from school organizations, scouts, churches, businesses and local service organizations has been truly appreciated and keeps our food pantry in operation.

Second Harvest Food Bank of East Central Indiana is the receiving agency for the state’s region of Indiana’s Emergency Food Assistance Program. The program provides items to more than 600 food pantries and soup kitchens.

Low-income households, individuals and families in need of food may access a food pantry at least once a month.

Fifty-three different food banks in eight counties are involved in the program, Knightstown Community Food Pantry being one of them.

The following are the guidelines for participating at the Knightstown Community Food Pantry, located at 27 S. Jefferson Street.

*One person household - household income under $1,348 (monthly) or $16,170 (annually)

*Two persons household - household income under $1,815 (monthly) or $21,780 (annually)

*Three persons household - household income under $2,283 (monthly) or $27,390 (annually)

*Four persons household - household income under $2,750 (monthly) or $33,000 (annually)

*Five persons household - household income under $3,218 (monthly) or $38,610 (annually)

*Six persons household - household income under $3,685 (monthly) or $44,220 (annually)

The food pantry is open on the second and fourth Saturday of each month from 8:30-10:30 a.m.


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