This is one of those stories you shouldn’t read if you have high blood pressure:
Three invited pro-military speakers were shocked last Friday when they arrived for a West Seattle High student assembly to confront a theater stage strewn with figures costumed as Iraqi men, women and children splashed with blood….
For Nadine Gulit of Operation Support Our Troops, the spectacle was sickening.
She had been asked by student organizers to provide three speakers and she delivered.
“I was told there would be three on each side. No debates. No rebuttal,” she said in the e-mail she fired off to members of the Seattle School Board. “At no time was I referred to a teacher nor did a teacher contact me. As I walked into the theater there was a young girl wearing a mask and crawling on the floor. And, over the loud speaker (someone) was denouncing our military, saying ‘Americans are killing my family!’ “
Not a good thing for “impressionable students who may have family serving Iraq,” Gulit told student organizers. “Two of our speakers had returned from Iraq and Afghanistan.”
With her speakers in tow, Gulit saw the bloodied figures on the floor. Stage right were students in orange Abu Ghraib-style prison jumpsuits, hoods over heads, pounding on plates with spoons. Next, a student dressed as a grieving Iraqi woman knelt near a bloody body while, over a microphone, a narrator wailed the story of civilians shot, kicked and beaten by American soldiers.
And remember, this isn’t the first time this sort of thing has happened in the Puget Sound.
Update: West Seattle High says its mission is to “provide a safe, constructive learning environment that honors the dignity and worth of every individual in the school community.”
The school’s principal, Susan Derse, used to work at Garfield High, where she sent letters to every student’s family after alleged hate crimes occurred there: “I did send a letter home to all of my families and to all of my students basically saying in light of Dr. King, we need to take particular attention to some few misguided students who act counter to our school ethics.” I hope she will now send out letters defending the honor of U.S. soliders and disassociating herself from the behavior of the students involved in the current controversy. (Hat tip: Virginia Randall.)
Update II: Ed Morrissey weighs in here. An excerpt:
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The school could provide no explanation for the skits prepared and enacted by the students, and could not determine if any adult supervision had been involved. However, as anyone who survived public school knows, students don’t just disappear into the theater for any period of time without having some cooperation from teachers. This wasn’t an improvisation; they had costumes, effects, and at least a rudimentary set built for this play. Combined with the access given the students to the assembly, it’s clear that teachers set this ambush up — and that’s exactly what this was intended to be[.]
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