Bomber Mascot Controversy
Issue # 29 ~ 08/29/01
Today's comments submitted by:

Burt Pierard (59), Bob Rector (62)
David Rivers (65), Aaron Johnson (82)
>>From: Burt Pierard (59)

To Diane Carpenter Kipp (72):

I was absolutely serious in my choice of terms in my
submission and the words were carefully chosen to arouse.
Both Keith Maupin's (47) excellent book on this subject
and my 'Name Origin Report' tried to use the intellectual
approach but this was apparently too subtle and went
right by many readers (even the ACLU Attorney missed the
point).  I'm sure that a psychology major could find a
master's thesis or doctoral dissertation in this ten-year

I do not desire a "mascot oath of allegiance"; but, an
"oath of allegiance to historical truth" is not a bad

The 'Gang of Four' are dangerous because of their
positions of power over the students, especially Jim
Qualheim as Director of Student Activities.  For example,
he was able to organize the B-17 fly-over and the
infamous Veteran's Day Assembly last year, obvious high
impact events on the students.  I already mentioned the
classroom pressures on any "dissidents."

I am astounded that you don't care that the students have
been manipulated, intimidated, humiliated, and sold a
complete fabrication.  If this isn't a "Quality of
Education" issue, what is?

Bomber Cheers,
-Burt Pierard (59) ~ Monroe, WA
>>From: Bob Rector (62)

More humor,

I've been chuckling to myself about the "Jackrabbit
Mascot" idea.  Thought about getting one stuffed and
asking the school board if it would "accept the gift."
Maybe we would mount it in the biology classroom .... but
no, you can't even shoot jackrabbits in the State of
Washington anymore .... so they certainly could not
accept a stuffed rabbit either.

Gees, it wouldn't even be ethical to take a lucky
rabbit's foot to ball games.  Remember the lucky rabbit
foot? ....  rabbit's foot? .... rabbit feet?  Sure glad
we have a good editor to figure this one out.  [You
betcha -- just left it as was. -ed]

So Richard, when do we get to vote for you for the school
board??  [The primary election is September 18; the
general election is November 6. -ed]

-Bob Rector (62)
>>From: David Rivers (65)

I won't single out the person who suggested that teachers
are "just teachers".  Teachers have awesome power and
must be careful in not allowing their own biases to
interfere with the art of instructing.  A single teacher
can influence and guide hundreds of children in ways that
are wonderful and magic.  Children who might not
otherwise experience the joy of living a full and
meaningful life can be guided in the right direction to
make value decisions thoughtfully and insightfully.  A
single teacher can also poison the minds of those very
children with bias and hatred that will follow them and
influence them for many years to come.  School is the
place to teach children "how" to reason and think .....
not "what" to think.  The manipulation of history is a
very treacherous tool and has been used the world over to
control the population.  Let's remember that our country
is an amalgamation of myriad cultures, mores, and values
with some guiding principles which have been founded upon
the lessons of the past.  The teacher's job is to
introduce the student into the world of thought.  The
teacher's role is not to mold the student into the
teacher's image.

-David Rivers (65)
>>From: Aaron Johnson (82)

To Richard "Dick" Roberts (49):

Thanks for responding re: the basketball towel boys.  A
Mr. Neidhold (back in my day, I rarely knew the teacher's
FIRST name) was my driver's ed teacher with his son Joey
('80? '81?) as the teacher's aide.  What a riot those two
were together.

To Norm Bell:

I was interested in a couple of points you made in your
post of 8/27.

I was gratified to see you attended the school board
meeting.  I question why, if you felt at that time the
way you appear to feel now from your post, you didn't
take the opportunity to make your feelings known in that
forum.  I, for one, welcome any rational and informed
information put forth in situations where they are
warranted, as it contributes to a well balanced

I do, however, wonder why you would have expected any
other group to respond to the issue than "Bomber
boosters", as the gift was crafted and then donated by a
"Bomber booster" on behalf of all former alumni.
Allowing for the fact that this group is a wee bit more
emotionally attached to their favorite school (see:
rabid), it should not have come as any surprise that "a
parade" of them should show up to voice their opinion.
It is, after all, not just our right as Americans to take
an active part in our governance, it is our
responsibility to do so.  By not making our elected
representatives cognizant of our wishes, we are failing
in our responsibility to governance "by the people, for
the people."

That being said, I wish to raise the issue of being
called "poorly informed".

My opinion is this: After reviewing the available
information from both sides of the issue, as is my wont,
I made a decision based on the merits, and made my
opinion known to those who were in a position to rule on
the issue.  That I disagreed with their decision is

I would very much appreciate your providing me, as well
as all the others who supported the proposal, with
information to counter the "poor information" with which
I formed my current opinion.  That I may have made a poor
decision due to not having at my disposal all the
information necessary to make a well-reasoned decision
gives me pause.  I'm sure that all the other Bomber
boosters who spoke at the meeting, or have posted here,
feel the same way as I do, and would appreciate your
providing us with this information.

As to the feeling that I was stirred up by hype created
by this website, I have to say that the reason for my
outrage on this issue was not created by the website.  My
outrage was not based on the "controversial gift".  It was
entirely begun upon finding that the gift, given under
the impression that its appropriateness and siting were
acceptable at the time, once placed, should be so
callously removed without regard to the feelings of the
person who had gifted it to begin with.  A moral taught
my children is courtesy towards others.  Common courtesy
and sensitivity to the person who had given the gift,
would have been to inform him of the improper method
under which the gift had been accepted, and allowed him
to have removed it himself, without damaging a gift which
he had put so much time into creating.  It concerns me
that this part of the entire fiasco was never addressed
by either the administration, or the Board. I feel that
the gentleman who had provided the gift was owed an
apology for the manner in which the situation was
handled.  It was not his fault that the installation of
the gift was done by him under the impression that
permission had been given.  It is not his responsibility
to know school district policy automatically.  He asked
for, and was given, permission by persons whose knowledge
of this policy should have been passed to him.

Also, the Board's viewpoint was not that it was installed
without public input.  I would hazard a guess that less
than a quarter of gifts made to the school district were
ever brought before the Board for their official
acceptance, and even fewer went through any form of
public input.

The Board prefaced the meeting by stating that the issue
was not one of appropriateness or personal opinion on
Board members' parts.  It was based on the method under
which the gift was donated being improper.  I was amused
by this preamble, especially when, when it came time for
their individual statements to be made after public
input, it was made abundantly clear by them that the
issue was truly one of appropriateness, historical
relevance, siting, and in one case, a rambling speech
referring to Germany during the War (which I had trouble

Your thoughts on how this issue might once and for all be
resolved were truly welcome to me.  The very constructive
idea of how this mascot could be made palatable to others
should be welcomed by all alumni, as it results in a
solution which lets us maintain our symbol which binds us
together (again, name any other school ANYWHERE, whose
mascot is the "glue that binds").  I had never considered
how a weapon's image could be recrafted into one of hope
for our collective futures.  Thank you for bringing this
concept forward.

-Aaron Johnson (82)
That's it for today.
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