Dr. Bennie McMorris,
Vice President for Student Affairs
Dean of Men
Dean of Women
From: Bonnie Weinstein, Bay Area United Against War, San Francisco, CA
Subject: Disciplinary action against protesting students.
Dear School Administrators,
Schools do not have the right to prohibit constitutional rights. Nor do they
have the right to punish students who exercise them. We, the American
people, are in a dire situation in the world today because the leaders of
our country chose to disregard constitutional, international and
humanitarian law by preemptively attacking an unarmed country in order to
further certain financial windfalls, i.e., oil profits for American
Our government has been caught in one lie after the other. The truth is
irrefutable, there were no WMD’s in Iraq and Iraq had nothing to do with
9/11 yet our government has killed tens of thousands of Iraqi people and
over 2,000 of our own troops, not to mention the reintroduction of the
terror, destruction and devastation of war into the world–including the
practice of the torture of prisoners. This government has used nuclear
(depleted uranium) and chemical (white phosphorous) weapons against
civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan.
These students should be honored for their protest! The whole school and the
administration should have been out there to back them. You, as
administrators–while you may not have the power alone to stop our
government from continuing and renewing these crimes and hunting for cannon
fodder at our schools–do have the power, right and the obligation to
So whose side should you be on?
I am so sick and tired of school administrations that cry that they have no
control over “no child left behind” or any power over military recruiting on
college campuses because they would loose government funds, but who then try
punish to the hilt students who protest this financial hold on our
constitutional rights. You can’t, on the one hand feign powerlessness over
government funding, and then, on the other hand, prohibit protest over these
unjust and unconstitutional laws that tie education to military recruitment.
The American people are opposed to this war. We were lied to, hoodwinked and
blatantly defrauded by this government. Student protests should become
school-wide protests. There is no law that says that school administrators
can’t protest the war and the military presence at our schools. There is no
law that says that you, the school administrators, can’t stand on the side
of students who protest these unconstitutional laws.
The world is watching the way that the leaders of our places of higher
learning handle the rights and liberties of students, teachers and school
administrators who protest these illegal and immoral government actions.
In the context of these illegal laws and the illegal and immoral character
of the war and all that lead up to the war, it would seem to me, that school
administrations, from kindergarten on up, should be helping to organize such
protests on a school-wide and nation-wide basis.
Education should not be tied to corrupt government administrations but
should be independent of them. Doing the right thing is the responsibility
of all adults–administrators, teachers and students alike.
Reward these students for their courage! Do not attempt to break their
resolve! They are right, and your attempt to punish them is dead wrong!
Join the fight to rid our educational system of military predators. Join the
protest of this war so that it can’t happen again. Join the demand to
immediately stop the war and bring the troops home now. Honor these students
for their courage, don’t punish them. Honor our troops by saving them from
this nightmare that is the War on Iraq and bring them home right now before
another person is killed or wounded.
The whole world is watching how you handle these legitimate protests and
whose side you declare yourself to be on.
We have a right to school administrations that are independent of our
government and who are more responsive to the will of the majority–the
majority of American citizens and the majority of the school community–that
says stop the war now, get the military out of our schools and spend our tax
dollars on human needs–like the needs of the victims of Katrina–instead of
After all, it is up to us, the people of the United States, to reign in our
government when it is guilty of such murderous crimes. It is not your duty
as administrators to punish students who protest these crimes.
We demand that you cease and desist in any punishment of these courageous
students and, instead, find ways to help them reach their goal.
Bonnie Weinstein, Bay Area United Against War, San Francisco, CA