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Jewish World Review June 1, 1999 /17 Sivan 5759

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Terrorism begins at home

(JWR) ---- (
LAST WEEK A LISTENER sent me a story from the Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal about some high school students who were facing expulsion because of a hate-filled Web site. They were suspended April 21, the day after the shooting spree at Columbine High School in Colorado. Their Web site, titled "The Field Dominion of Freaks" (not everyone can come up with something as brilliant as "The Trench Coat Mafia"), congratulated the two Columbine students who killed 12 fellow students and a teacher. It also discussed the group's hatred of athletes, prep students and certain teachers.

However, the story goes on to say that these students did not get expelled. They returned to Eleven Field High School with clear records after the American Civil Liberties Union weighed in on their behalf. According to the article, the ACLU called the expulsion an overreaction to the Columbine tragedy. Meanwhile, there is a national hue and cry about why no one in authority reacted to Harris' and Klebold's hate-filled Web site -- the implication being that if someone had paid attention, the killings might not have happened.

Well, here's a high school principal, paying attention, doling out serious consequences for the hateful actions of "The Field Dominion of Freaks." But when the ACLU got finished stripping him of his power and authority, here's what he had to say: "Those students actually posed no threat, but we had to find that out. It's too bad the kids got caught up in it. You know, kids will be kids."

Is that comment meant to soothe us? If so, it doesn't. That cliche maybe had some benign meaning in the first half of this century, but not since so many kids have become assassins.

Listen to more words of wisdom from the ACLU concerning this incident. "What happened in Colorado was tragic, but it would be doubly tragic if those who took so many lives in Littleton were allowed to rob children across America of their right to free expression."

So this is how the ACLU thinks? Dead is bad. But worse than dead is kids prohibited from spewing hate on the Internet. Is this the freedom men have died to protect in two world wars -- your children's freedom to access the Internet, with its pervasive pornography and venomous Web sites?

I'm sure the ACLU would also agree with an FM radio shock jock's right to say what he said on the radio right after the killings. He wondered if the shooters had had sex with the girls, whom he characterized as "babes," before they shot them. No wonder the Akron high schoolers believe they are entitled to say anything they want on their Web site, exposed as they have been their whole lives to this level of public discourse.

When is this insanity going to stop? How many principals are going to have the giblets to yank a kid out of class who's offending and threatening the school community in this way, knowing they'll be sued?

I gave up on the public school system a long time ago. Our son is in a private religious school. He starts every school day thanking G-d for the gift of life and asking G-d to direct his thinking. I think school vouchers are a great idea. They would give all parents this opportunity. I know what I'm saying undermines the public school system. But I honestly think it's a lost cause, and I don't see any other way to protect our children from brain and soul pollution.

Thanks to my radio show listeners, I've been getting all kinds of information lately that I definitely don't want to know. Like the American Psychological Association's publishing a study that says, in essence, pedophilia isn't so bad; and the American Library Association's manifesto regarding children's "right" to unfettered access to the Internet in what was once the safest haven imaginable -- the local public library.

It's hard to accept these developments in our society. We all live in our own spheres, going to work, having lunch, meeting friends, getting the car washed. But there's this creeping virus gaining on us. If we don't pay attention and take some action, we're going to wake up one day with kids who have bodies but no souls.

I mean, it was OK for those evil gremlins at Columbine to have their Web site and walk around wearing swastikas. However, if they had stood in the middle of the cafeteria and prayed, they would have been thrown out of school, and the ACLU would have been there in a heartbeat marching them to the door. Or, if they hadn't been thrown out, the ACLU would have sued the principal for NOT throwing them out. This is the same ACLU that protects and defends those children who would threaten our own.

Who needs foreign terrorists when we do so well manufacturing and protecting our home-grown ones?


05/24/99: His, mine, ours -- and priorities
05/17/99: Polluted waters of society are killing our fish fry
05/10/99:Good teachers offer more than 3 R's
05/03/99: Cybersex survey a travesty of science
04/19/99: Legal abortion not the salvation that feminists claim
04/12/99: Moral parents struggle against upside-down value system
03/31/99: Children need attention before they cry out for it
03/29/99: Family values fall victim to advertising whims
03/19/99: Snooping can be healthy if it saves a child in trouble
03/05/99: Traditional religions offer optimism to adherents
03/05/99: Tearing down foundations, brick by brick
02/26/99: With power comes obligation to lead by example
02/19/99: National Prayer Breakfast inspires public servants
02/12/99: Overcoming selfishness leads us closer to human potential
02/09/99: Youth's difficult lessons make us better adults
02/02/99: Rituals, icons remind us of our obligation to G-d
01/22/99: 'Consenting adults' don't always examine consequences
01/18/99: Day care no substitute for love of mom and dad
01/08/99: Don't use others' misfortunes to build your self-image
12/31/98: Tracking HIV-infected people makes good sense
12/24/98: How can we teach ethics without defining morals?
12/18/98: Parents afraid of firm values leave their children adrift
12/11/98: Spread righteousness by refusing to accept the 'code'

©1999, Universal Press Syndicate