November 08, 2005
by: jovial_cynic
After thinking about it for a while, I decided that I needed to write a letter to Pascual Gonzalez, the fellow who thinks that should be accountable for threats that students make towards the school. Here's the content of my email:

Hello Mr. Gonzalez.

Having read the news and the statements you've made regarding the myspace "terrorists," I think you should re-think your communication philosophy.

As director of communication, don't you think that a forum of free speech and open communication is the best route towards healthy and intelligent growth? You've got a bachelor's degree in journalism, right? And you're going to publically say that should be held accountable for what students are saying? It's not like is encouraging students towards violence - it's just a forum. If the offending students didn't have webspace to post their ideas, they'd post it on the side of a barn or telephone pole. If the internet wasn't around, would you recommend holding bulletin board manufacturers responsible for the content that goes up?

What is your school district teaching these kids? Isn't dissent healthy? Isn't the opportunity to voice your feelings or beliefs a part of what America is supposed to stand for? And if the consequences of free speech allows some jerks to say offensive things, doesn't the greater good of freedom outweigh the possibility that some people will say stupid things?

Yes, threats of violence are unhealthy and even possibly dangerous, but how can you suggest that the forum of free speech be held accountable? Suggesting that such sites close down is akin to suggesting that we put blinders on students so they can't see the world around them. You're suggesting that they don't think, and they not be given the opportunity to hear ideas of opposition. That does not create healthy citizens. That simply perpetuates the problem - we have a lack of critical-thinking in America, and without the opportunity to use forums of free speech, we aren't even giving these kid a fighting chance.

Seriously. Reconsider your opinion of, or any other web-based forum that promotes free speech. Look into what your brighter students are doing with the opportunity to speak freely in a forum of their peers. I'm sure you'll be pleasantly surprised. Don't let the foolishness of a few blind you to achievements of the others.

I don't promote Personally, I think it's a rather ugly social networking site - there's much better ones out there. However, it does fit my underlying philosophy of communication. People should have the platform to say what they want to say, and feel what they want to feel. Web-based communication is the great balancer - you no longer have to own a printing press to write a novel, and you no longer have to have commercial sponsorship to run a political campaign. It is the greatest communication medium the world has ever known.

Josh Culley

Yes, my last paragraph was a little dramatic towards the end. haha... I was soapboxing a little. Even so, I had hoped that I'd get some kind of reasonable response from him. I was pretty sure, however, that I'd just get a form letter with some nonsense about how my opinions will be considered, blah blah blah. And sure enough...

Hello Mr. Culley,
Thank you for your comments.
Your points have been heard.

Pascual Gonzalez
Exec. Director of Communications
Northside ISD, 5900 Evers Rd, San Antonio, TX 78238 210-397-8550 office
210-706-8772 fax

My points have been heard! Well, I suppose that's a step in the right direction. Maybe a few other folks can help him hear my points too. Feel free to shoot him an email and let him know how you feel about this!
np category: politics


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