This isn’t freedom of speech

Published 6:00 pm Sunday, November 9, 2008

Dear Editor,

To all parents of children enrolled in Clanton Intermediate School, I have some information that you may be very interested in. As all of you know by now, Obama has been elected our next United States president. Some of us are disappointed in this outcome while others are ecstatic. I know we all have differences in opinions on the political issues, and that is what I thought was a part of the American dream. We are allowed to have different beliefs and have the freedom to speak on them.

Not so for some Clanton Intermediate students. I have a son in 4th grade. He came home Wednesday, quite upset about an assignment he was required to complete in class today. The assignment was to write Obama a “love letter” as my son called it. When finished with the letters, the letters would later be hung outside the doorway of the classroom in the hall for everyone to read and later possibly sent to Mr. Obama.

In the “love letter” to Obama, the class was told to congratulate Obama for winning the election (which I have no problem with, nobody likes a sore loser), and to tell him how much you like him, and tell him how excited you are that he is our new president. When some of the children had a different opinion, they were told that they had better not say anything but what they were told to say or they would be sent to the principal’s office.

My son and some of his classmate’s were very intimidated by the teacher, so therefore they did as they were told.

Freedom of speech means that even my 9-year-old son (who happens to be an honor-roll student) should be able to have his own opinion on any subject, including presidential elections.

Call the school officials and urge them to help us make sure that our children are given the same constitutional rights that every American is entitled to.

– Diane Knight, Clanton