Epping has acted quickly to address a free speech issue at Epping High School. What started as a Union Leader story (Kimberly covered it for us here) went national in a matter of days. Ending with the principal apologizing.
On Friday, Principal Brian Ernest sent out a letter to the school community, which stated, “I want our students to be free thinkers and be able to express their opinions in a respectful manner.”
Ernest said he had met with MacKenzie’s family and apologized for the incident.
The District also went public saying, the event never should have happened.
The Epping School Board and Epping District’s position is that this event should not ever have taken place, and we are committed to the creation of a school environment that promotes open and free thought and dialogue,” McKenney wrote in a letter to the school community.
Reports state that a plan is in development to address this with the goal “to promote civil discourse and diversity in our schools.”
“Diversity” Typically Means Danger
While that word diversity typically does not include the diversity of thought, the principal added that “I want our students to be free thinkers and be able to express their opinions in a respectful manner.”
Sunday, Ann Marie Banfield suggested people attend the next School Board meeting. Epping residents should still make a point of doing that. Any policy changes to address free speech need to be encouraged and shepherded under the watchful eyes of parents and taxpayers. Because while the apologies appear genuine Epping taxpayers are on the hook for the cost any future lawsuit resulting from the speech policies they choose to embrace – or any future misunderstandings resulting from political bias.
And terms like diversity and “civil discourse” can mean whatever the folks in charge want them to mean. But it’s usually a bad deal for free speech. Be diligent.