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Letter: Open Letter to Flag Petitioner
Letter to the Editor,
03:15PM / Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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To the Editor:

I read with great interest the article by Mr. Dravis in Monday's iBerkshires. I understood you to say that you had "posted a comment on the thread inviting opponents to reach out personally to [you]." As I suspect you know, I frequently post on the thread to which I think you are referring, but did not see your invitation. Had I seen it, I would have responded immediately. Alas! I still cannot find it, but, admittedly, I am an idiot with all things social media.

I would be delighted to have a conversation with you and your friends. We can do it in person, my preference, or on Facebook. My beloved grandchildren — all seven — tell me that Facebook is "old people talking to old people," so FB might not be the best place to share ideas. If you know of a better venue, I am happy to accommodate — assuming I can quickly learn to navigate it.

When we chat, I will ask about the history of your petition. Was this part of a civics project? Who researched the points made in the petition? Who actually drafted the article? Did a group or an adult critique what was written? Did you have to it approved by anyone in the administration? And, as minors, what was the process used to get you on the warrant?

I cannot praise you enough for trying to make a positive difference in our very-challenging town politics. If you have carefully read most of my posts, on several occasions I have recommended student involvement in town affairs. I have spent nearly all of my professional life — teacher at MGRHS when dinosaurs roamed the hills and as a Student Rights Advocate for the Commonwealth — trying to empower young people. I treasure their often clear analysis of problems and their sometimes uncanny wisdom to solve difficult problems. But sometimes they need a critic to make them be their best. And an adult — sometimes best a grouchy one — can be, believe it or not, helpful.

Your petition shows that you have chosen to play in the adult world; therefore, you have taken on the responsibility of reasoning well and presenting your arguments with coherence and underlying logic. (Yes, I know, many adults are terrible role models in this arena.) Assumptions are dangerous and you will be challenged. Sometimes very harshly.

If we chat, I will ask you answer the foregoing questions and then — this is a really tough one — to critique what you have written in the petition. Is it based on strong evidence? And most of all have you expressed yourself in a way that does not alienate but instead gathers people to your cause?

Again, happy to have a discussion with you. Several of my like-minded friends would be happy to join us in a frank and free discussion. I wish I had caught your invitation to comment, before you finalized your petition. It would have been an excellent learning experience for all of us.

Donna Wied
Williamstown, Mass.



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