Your Views for February 27
Ploy for attention
The saga of the on again, off again, on again visit of Mr. Jim Albertini to Hilo High is much ado about nothing (“Activist allowed to speak at school,” Tribune-Herald, Feb. 26). In fact, it is a manufactured media event, and here’s how.
What forced Hilo High’s principal to cancel Mr. Albertini’s original visit was the direct result of Mr. Albertini forwarding to the World Wide Web the private message sent by a librarian to a teacher. What other point could there be in doing that than to create drama? This act tells the whole story.
That civic discourse and debate are good is true, with the assumption that it is with reasonable people under reasonable conditions. It must be remembered that not all of the public is reasonable and that the situation created by Mr. Albertini quickly became unreasonable. It seems that those who assert Mr. Albertini’s right to speak must not be paying much attention to the news.
In today’s world, schools simply cannot take chances with the health and safety of the students. There should be no need to recite the list of violent acts that have taken place on school campuses nationwide in recent weeks. Little Hilo High has had at least three real lock-downs this year due to potentially violent people near campus. Schools cannot, and should not, take even a small risk.
While Mr. Albertini may be a peaceful man, the hoopla generated by his own hand created a situation with potential for, at best, disruption and at worst, violence. Does anyone truly place their right to speak above children’s right to safety? If their children were here, I seriously doubt it. Mine are, and I say no.
If Mr. Albertini truly had speaking with the students of Hilo High School as his first priority, he could have quietly met with the school administration and worked things out (which one might expect of a humble man of peace).
But instead, he chose to create a media event. Interesting that the consequences of his actions resulted in his name in the paper and his exploits re-told. I’m thinking a 40-plus year activist just might have foreseen those consequences and just might enjoy a windfall of attention.
The only trouble is that he had to besmirch the reputations of some dedicated public servants and an entire high school to do it. This is the real story here. An activist who has trouble getting attention standing on the front lawn of the Federal Building saw an opportunity to get his name in the paper by creating the very conditions that precluded his opportunity to meet with those students.
Mr. Robert Dircks should be commended for hanging in there and eventually working things out. It’s not his fault that this was turned into a circus. And because of that, it is clear he had no choice but to cancel activist Albertini’s original visit.
John Casey Carpenter
Hilo High School counselor
Rules for posting comments
Comments posted below are from readers. In no way do they represent the view of Oahu Publishing Inc. or this newspaper. This is a public forum.
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content but the newspaper is under no obligation to do so. Comment posters are solely responsible under the Communications Decency Act for comments posted on this Web site. Oahu Publishing Inc. is not liable for messages from third parties.
IP and email addresses of persons who post are not treated as confidential records and will be disclosed in response to valid legal process.
Do not post:
- Potentially libelous statements or damaging innuendo.
- Obscene, explicit, or racist language.
- Copyrighted materials of any sort without the express permission of the copyright holder.
- Personal attacks, insults or threats.
- The use of another person's real name to disguise your identity.
- Comments unrelated to the story.
If you believe that a commenter has not followed these guidelines, please click the FLAG icon below the comment.