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"Offensive" text?

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Did anyone notice that two letters to the editor from Jim Smith and Donald Davis, published on Oct. 27, were almost identical, word for word, paragraph by paragraph? Kind of makes you wonder who actually wrote the letter, doesn’t it?

They got one thing right: Damon Myers did vote twice to adopt a high school literature curriculum that was vetted by the Virginia Department of Education, recommended by the school district’s textbook review committee, and proposed by the superintendent at the School Board meeting in May. The votes were taken in June to adopt the curriculum. Good job, Damon, and thank you.

I find it strange that, of the approximately 240 reading selections in the high school literature curriculum, Smith and Davis chose to highlight one “offensive” text: a 1967 sermon by a pastor urging us to stop fighting in Vietnam. I was in college in 1967 and, for those of you too young to remember, it seemed as though half of America was against the war. There were an average of 30 service members killed every day in Vietnam in 1967. There were anti-war protests everywhere; young men were conscientious objectors, or running away to Canada, or seeking student or medical deferments from the draft.

Students in 11th and 12th grades are 16, 17 and 18 years old. They are old enough to drive. They are old enough to join the military. They are old enough to vote. They are smart enough to have tough discussions about what America is and what we want it to be. True patriotism is not: “My country: right or wrong.” True patriotism is: “My country: when you find out you are wrong, do right next time.”

Becky Thompson, Oakpark

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