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Ventura County Perspective

Too Much Freedom?

March 12, 2000

Re "English Teacher Arrested After Showing R-Rated Film to Class," March 7.

I agree with school officials in Santa Paula who chose to have one of their teachers arrested for showing the film "American Beauty" to her students. Now it turns out she also had them reading William Blake. Freedom like that leads to all sorts of mischief and you end up with kids really examining their lives and culture rather than learning to score well on tests. This, in turn, would have dire consequences for the vocational education system that produces such fine ciphers for corporate America.

The old traditions were much better. When I was a high school senior they showed us the movie "The Green Berets" while an Army recruiter waited outside in the hall to sign up all the testosterone-driven freedom fighters for a short stint in Vietnam.

We must draw the line between freedom and license somewhere and Santa Paula is as good a place as any to do it.

BILL GIBSON

Juniper Hills

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