Thursday, August 04, 2005

A Principal And A Principle

The Marine, The Teacher and the Principal

Note: I will steal or paraphrase much of the facts from Neal Boortz's page.

Our story starts in college. Matthew Lund (right, top) and Zach Richardson were college roommates. After college Richard joined the Marines and Lund started teaching. Richardson went to Iraq, Lund to Carson Middle School, there to teach a 6th grade language arts class.

As a class assignment Lund gave his students the opportunity to write a letter to Sgt. Richardson in Iraq. Richardson wrote back and gave the class the names of five other Marines who would like to receive letters. Soon other middle school classes were also sending letters to the Marines in Iraq.

When Sgt. Richardson returned to the United States he asked Matthew Lund if he could come to the Carson Middle School to personally thank the students for their support and letters. Lund filled out and submitted a "Resource Visitor or Guest Speaker Form" and submitted it to Principal Corbett (below). Lund says he never got the form back from Corbett. He says he asked the Principal about the form, and was told that she was not going to look at it.

Lund realized that Principal Corbett was going to ignore his request. Call it the Principal filibuster. So Lund made the arrangements anyway. Sgt. Richardson showed up at the school and prepared to meet the students.

At that point, according to Lund, Principal Corbett called him into the hall and told him that the Marine was not approved to be at the school. Lund told Corbett that the proper form had been submitted and had been ignored. Corbett's response was "that's your problem, not mine." She told Lund that the students had not earned the visit from the Marine, and closed the discussion with Lund with the phrase "what part of what we just discussed do you not understand?" She then ordered Matthew Lund to escort Sgt. Richardson off the school campus.

The story hit the papers. So Corbett attempted to cover her ass. submitted a written statement to the Herald-Journal in which she stated "My decision not to allow Zach Richardson to speak with the students on Monday came out of my regard for the safety and welfare of our children."

No one buys that of course. Is Ulrica Corbett saying that this U.S. Marine who had just spent a year putting his life on the line for his country presented some sort of a threat to the children at the Carson Middle School? No, this woman obviously has some resentment or hatred of our military, though Boortz reports receiving e-mail that she has family in the military, though that was not in her statement.

The story initially had the usual he said/she said. She says he didn't follow protocol. He says she refused to consider the request properly made. The Superintendent apologized. That is telling.

The Principle -- And The Party

Well, the Principal didn't win. In fact, she lost big time. Over 1,000 people showed up at the Ritz-Carlton Lodge at Reynolds Plantation recently to honor U.S. Marine Zach Richardson and his fellow Marines newly returned from Iraq. The Ritz-Carlton Lodge arranged this event, and the students of Anita White Carson Middle School received their personal thank you from the soldiers. [Note: That Ritz-Carlton rocks.]

Pictures of the event here.

Thanks should go to Neal Boortz and several local Georgia newspapers for getting this story out, and to Matthew Lund, the Ritz-Carlton and especially those marines that served with Zach Richardson.


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