To the editor:
I am writing to comment on the article appearing in the Oct. 30, 2013 edition of the Barrington Times concerning the middle school play.
In general, I have high praise for the teaching at our middle school. Both of my children benefited from their time there. The teachers earned my trust by always valuing the growth, although sometimes painful, of my children’s abilities. I would have completely supported Mary Roberts’ decision to stage the play, because I trust her judgment as a teacher.
I now turn my attention to Mrs. Black’s comment, “There is nothing that can justify putting on a KKK costume.” That comment seems to me to be short-sighted and narrow-minded in the extreme. There are myriad reasons that justify putting on a KKK costume. Let me offer just two.
First, those acquainted with the theater know that in many plays there is a hero, a heroine, a confidant and a villain. (The other characters are known collectively as “Fifth Business.”) Playing a villain, even a KKK member, may cause a child to begin to consider what it means to be villainous, and to begin to learn how to eschew acts of villainy.
Second, our country guarantees freedom of speech, not because all speech is worthwhile, but rather because, when exposed to the free marketplace of ideas, both valuable and worthless speech can be judged for what each is.
I regret our children and our community were not given the chance to learn these valuable lessons.
Sean C. Connor