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Hahn's Petition Problem

March 30, 2003

Re "Signing Petition Was a Mistake, Hahn Says," March 26:

Mayor Hahn, by signing the Florence Nightingale Middle School sixth-graders' antiwar petition on Iraq, you took a stance. The petition, as read to you out loud by a student, was simply worded, succinct, clear in its content and easy enough for any sixth-grader to understand. The following day, under pressure from veterans groups, you backpedaled and took it back. You claimed you hadn't read it word for word. Which is it, Mr. Mayor? Either way, you lose.

By bowing to pressure from veterans groups you represent the kind of gutless political leader that keeps voters away from the polls in disgust and perpetuates the stereotype of the two-faced, opinion poll-watching politician. Not to mention disappointing those sixth-graders. I just don't see how calling this war "unjust" makes one unpatriotic. If you had any conscience, you'd march back to Nightingale Middle School and say so. If you had any backbone, you'd then march back to your office and say the same thing.

Kevin McDermott

Los Angeles

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Hahn admitted he made a mistake in signing that petition. The petition called the war in Iraq "unjust." In my opinion, Hahn was wrong to sign it; teacher David Meyerhof certainly had no business bringing it to him. How does Meyerhof, or any public school teacher, justify using kids like that? It makes me wonder how many teachers are using the public's classrooms to "brainwash" the kids on this and other issues.

Is that what the public is paying teachers to do? Let teachers use their out-of-classroom time to push their political agendas or other causes -- just as other citizens who work eight hours a day must do. For shame!

Aaron Steenbergen

Bakersfield

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