, Salem, MA


March 29, 2014

School officials swing the razor of censorship



We would suggest Metzler do a word search on the First Amendment to see if it turns up “rude” or “disrespectful.”

That advice would probably be wasted. But we can tell Metzler that being polite is not a condition of free speech.

Let’s face it, the Timberlane School District has a history of censorship and suppression of information. It is the district that sealed the records of an allegedly wayward administrator for 99 years. Well, hello, Rip Van Winkle!

But Timberlane now has reached a new low.

Last week, the School Board approved a policy that bars board members from talking to the press. Everything now must go through the chairwoman, Nancy Steenson.

Steenson suggested that board members are still free to speak to constituents one on one, if not the press.

Actually, not so much — even if it were possible for the nine board members to return the calls of their hundreds or thousands of constituents.

That’s because another clause in the new policy states: “All decisions made by the Board will be supported by all board members regardless of how a member voted. Efforts to undermine a decision will not be tolerated.”

So, we have not only speech control but also thought control.

When you call up your brainwashed School Board member, he or she is bound to tell you, “I support all decisions made by the board.”

So much for the democratic process, as well as free speech.

Shamefully, seven out of nine members of the School Board voted to be bound and gagged. We can only hope they’re not made uncomfortable.

Some students and parents, uncowed by Metzler and Steenson, are speaking up.

We urge others to resist and stand against these illegal dictatorial policies.

Only then will Timberlane’s dam on the free flow of information be breached.

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