« "We made a difference" | Main | They got mail »

March 15, 2005


Zero tolerance? Let 'em know what you think

My 15 year old daughter, Shea, out of sheer pride, took a picture of her brother to her high school to share with a teacher. Her brother, Bill, also a graduate of Douglas McKay High School in Salem, Oregon, is a US Marine and a decorated veteran of the Iraq war. He has been deployed twice and will be returning this summer for his 3rd deployment to Iraq. Shea has had the unique experience of supporting her brother during his deployments and the true realization of what war means to the families of our Marines and soldiers in harms way.

Shea, a freshman at McKay, has become acquainted with one of her teachers that her brother also had while in school. Mr. Costa is a social studies teacher and football coach. Bill being a football star while in school and lettering all four years is well remembered by Mr. Costa. Mr. Costa has several pictures of McKay graduates hung in his classroom and Shea asked that if she brought a picture of Bill would he also hang it with the others. He of course said yes.

Shea proudly printed a picture of her brother and took it to school. The picture she selected is of her brother in Iraq, in combat uniform and holding a gun. Just, a typical picture of a Marine at work in a war zone. Mr. Costa asked the school administration for permission to hang the picture due to the graphic nature of the picture. He was denied, based on the fact that a gun is included in the picture. From there Iím told it was taken to the Salem-Keizer Administrative offices and it was scanned and the gun removed in order for it meet the guidelines of political correctness.

I wrote the following to the School District Administrator and have not had a response.

Ms. Baker,

My daughter is Shea Riecke, a freshman at McKay High School. She is my third child to attend McKay High School. My son Bill and daughter Sarah were also graduates of McKay. I am writing to you to share with you a concern that Shea has voiced to me regarding school administration policy.

Shea gave Mr. Costa (one of her teachers), a picture of her brother to hang along with other McKay graduates in his classroom. Shea is extremely proud of her brother and the profession that he has chosen and she was happy that Mr. Costa recognized the accomplishments that Bill has made. He is a US Marine and a decorated veteran of the Iraq war. The picture depicts Bill in Iraq in combat uniform with other members of his unit, and carrying a gun. School administration denied Mr. Costa's request to hang the picture. From what I understand the picture is being scanned and the gun removed and will be returned to Mr. Costa to hang in his classroom.

Although, I understand the need to "shelter" our kids from horrific events in our community and world in regards to dangerous and illegal activities, I also see the need to better educate our young adults in realities of todays world and that includes the fact that America is at war in Iraq? The reality is many graduating students, even from McKay High School, will be joining the military as their career choice. I'm sure military recruiters walk the halls of our high schools daily. It is customary to wear their dress blues uniform to conduct such business, but in reality new recruits will be embarking on a very serious and dangerous career and the only uniform they will wear will be desert camis. They will be trained for many jobs but most importantly for combat. Our military strength is very important, especially in todays world, where the war against terrorism is featured in our newspapers daily. And, if I might quote my very heroic son, 'for those kids who join the military I want them to be prepared for reality, they need to know that we are fighting a war here, its serious business. And, everyone who chooses to join the military needs to know how serious it is, we carry guns and we have to use them. Don't hang a picture of me that has been altered and that does not tell the truth.'

So, my question to you is, does the Salem Keizer administration truly feel that scanning a picture to remove a gun held by a Marine really help to educate and/or shelter our children in the reality of our country, and of our world? What it does do is devalue the heroic work our very elite military personnel, who everyday give so much to secure our freedom and to fight the war on terrorism, and it does not educate our young adults in the truth.

My appreciation to Mr. Costa for "highlighting" McKay graduates and including my son.

Connie & Shea Riecke

For many reasons Iím appalled by the behaviors of our educators. I have raised and educated my children to speak and live the truth, to be proud of their country and themselves. Just how far will our society go to blind themselves from the realization that our country is at war and what that means. Is this a revision of history? As young adults graduate from high school I hoped that their education would provide them with the basic knowledge of our world especially today as our Marines and soldiers fight everyday to secure their freedom and the freedom for others. The future stability of our country is only as strong as our future leaders, they need to know the facts, not the propaganda created by our school administration.


If you have an opinion regarding the wisdom of a school district decision to Photoshop the weapon from an active duty Marine's hands, please share it with Salem-Keizer school district administration. Kathryn Baker is the Superintendent of Schools. Her e-mail address is baker_kathryn@salkeiz.k12.or.us. Cynthia Richardson is the principal at McKay High School. Her e-mail address is richardson_cynthia@salkeiz.k12.or.us. And since our comment feature is still broken, if you CC your response to us at info@marinecorpsmoms.com, we'll be happy to print them here.

Posted by Connie at March 15, 2005 09:19 PM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://marinecorpsmoms.com/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/599

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Zero tolerance? Let 'em know what you think:

» It's Gotten So This Is No Longer Surprising from Just Some Poor Schmuck
Not only do we have the faculty of one of America's top colleges doing their imitation of medieval witch hunters, but we have the spectacle of the administrators of a high school here in Oregon acting like a bunch of... [Read More]

Tracked on March 16, 2005 12:25 AM

» Sigh. from Argghhh! The Home Of Two Of Jonah's Military Guys..
Oh for pity's sake. "ďA furore normannorum small-minded nanny-staters libera nos, domineĒ* I say, rather: Utinam barbari spatium proprium tuum invadant!** Be the barbarians invading the world of PC nonesense. Express yourself here: Quoting Deb of Marin... [Read More]

Tracked on March 16, 2005 04:29 AM

» The Pansification of our Society from fredschoeneman.com
Deb Conrad at Marine Corps Moms wants to know why one of her son's former high school teachers isn't allowed by the school's administrators to put up a picture of him on display. He has similar pictures of many of... [Read More]

Tracked on March 16, 2005 10:39 AM

» Domestic idiots from JackLewis.net
Argghhh! tells of another example of Liberalism run-amuck. Ed at Captain's Quarters has a good laugh at Liberals in their... [Read More]

Tracked on March 17, 2005 08:55 AM

» High School Alters Marine Picture Due to Zero Tole from View From Tonka
This is another example of educators gone totally, completely STUPID!! I am so angry about this. To me the most disturbing aspect of the insanity occurring in our public education institutions is to obliterate any semblance of common sense, patriotis... [Read More]

Tracked on March 18, 2005 04:46 PM

» Contrast from triticale - the wheat / rye guy
From the sublime (or at least way cool) to the ridiculous...... [Read More]

Tracked on March 21, 2005 05:41 PM

» Zero tolerance for Marine photo from joannejacobs.com
Shea Riecke, a freshman at McKay High School in Salem, Ore., wanted to add a photo of her brother, Marine Cpl. Bill Riecke, to a social studies bulletin board featuring McKay graduates' career choices. But school officials balked when they... [Read More]

Tracked on March 29, 2005 11:41 AM

» SCHOOL SAYS STUDENT CAN'T POST PICTURE OF ARMED MARINE from Michelle Malkin
The principal of a high school in Salem, Ore., refuses to allow one of her students, Shea Riecke, to post a picture of her brother, a Marine, on a classroom bulletin board. Here is the photo (Shea's brother, Cpl Bill... [Read More]

Tracked on March 31, 2005 02:51 AM

» Photo of an Armed Marine Banned at a School from Vista On Current Events

Report via KATU-2 TV

Why are people so intollerant? Another dumb controversy at a Sal... [Read More]

Tracked on March 31, 2005 04:16 AM

» Photo of an Armed Marine Banned at a School from Vista On Current Events

Report via KATU-2 TV

Why are people so intollerant? Another dumb controversy at a Sal... [Read More]

Tracked on March 31, 2005 04:19 AM

» Living in fear of photos from Number 2 Pencil
How much crime and mayhem could result from a photo of a gun? Since when did a photo become a weapon? And since when did Douglas McKay High School (OR) become so terrified of guns that even photos of them... [Read More]

Tracked on March 31, 2005 07:44 AM

» Marines Carry Guns from The Forest For The Trees
Fifteen year old Shea Riecke took a photo of her brother to school for a class project. The problem? Her brother is a Marine and he carries a *gasp* gun! [Read More]

Tracked on March 31, 2005 08:19 AM

» SCHOOL SAYS STUDENT CAN'T POST PICTURE OF ARMED MARINE from Michelle Malkin
The principal of a high school in Salem, Ore., refuses to allow one of her students, Shea Riecke, to post a picture of her brother, a Marine, on a classroom bulletin board. Here is the photo. (Shea's brother, Cpl Bill... [Read More]

Tracked on April 2, 2005 07:17 AM

» We love our military boys from Cao's Blog
Apparently, there was a big ruckus about a girl posting a picture of her brother in a social studies classroom because he was holding a gun. Here's the picture in question. From Marine Corps Moms (Connie Rieke) My 15 year old daughter, Shea,... [Read More]

Tracked on April 3, 2005 04:14 AM

» We love our military boys from Patriots for Bush
Apparently, there was a big ruckus about a girl posting a picture of her brother in a social studies classroom because he was holding a gun. Here's the picture in question. From Marine Corps Moms (Connie Rieke) My 15 year... [Read More]

Tracked on April 3, 2005 06:15 AM

Comments

Sounds like the Administration needs get a life!

Posted by: John Miska at April 2, 2005 08:07 AM

This zero tolerance is getting out of hand, its actually approached the bullshit stage. Soldiers carry guns. How the hell is a PICTURE of a gun going to cause any harm???? If parents would start parenting again then maybe we would not need these stupid, assinign, touchy-feely restrictions all of these so-called educational reformers are trying to shove down our throats.

Posted by: james stodola at April 3, 2005 04:01 PM

I saw the first picture on tv of three grunts without shirts holding automatic weapons and this was a typical picture from the war.However with the pressure from idot kids shooting up schools I think I would have toned down the picture if I was in charge.I also saw the second picture and that was more subdued and showed a marine in uniform with a weapon and that was aceptable to me.Is that the picture they scanned the gun out of?
Aftr all the news coverage I would have probably scanned the gun out also but if it did not hit the news I would say that the second picture was more than just fine to put up in a classroom. Pat

Posted by: Pat at April 13, 2005 11:59 AM

I just saw the pictures of the marines and I think the second picture ( the one that was approved) was better than the first picture.I think the principle did the right thing.She has guts.
I walked in the blood of school kids at the Santee school shooting and that made me aware of how easily influenced kids can get. Guns work for me but in the hands of messed up kids its a mess.....Pat

Posted by: Pat at April 13, 2005 12:08 PM

Post a comment




Remember Me?