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9/22/2004 2:13:16 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Michigan--Homeschoolers Portrayed as

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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September 22, 2004


Michigan--Homeschoolers Portrayed as "Terrorists"


Dear HSLDA members and friends:

On Monday, September 20, the Muskegon Chronicle reported on a
Department of Homeland Security sponsored terrorism drill involving
the Muskegon Area Intermediate School District and the Muskegon County
Emergency Services. A mock attack would occur on a public school bus.


The simulated attack would come from a fictitious radical group called
"Wackos Against Schools and Education" who believe everyone should be
homeschooled.

We immediately called the Muskegon Chronicle and explained how this is
offensive to millions of people who have chosen to exercise their
right to homeschool.

Homeschoolers have never committed violent acts against public schools
or any terrorist acts. Comparing us to the most dangerous people in
the world is a terrible insult and a travesty.

The newspaper promised to print our response in a follow-up story.

In addition, calls poured into the Muskegon Intermediate School
District and the Muskegon County Emergency Services, who issued
apologies which are printed below.

Sincerely,


Chris Klicka
Senior Counsel
Home School Legal Defense Association


Apology from County:

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Muskegon Area Intermediate School District (MAISD)

September 21, 2004

The Muskegon Area Intermediate School District (MAISD) shared the
disappointment of others when we learned the September 21, 2004,
emergency preparedness drill referenced home-schoolers as the
fictitious group responsible for a mock disaster. We apologize.
According to Dan Stout, Chief Deputy, Emergency Services of Muskegon
County, this scenario was constructed in his office. A sample
scenario was required in order to receive the necessary funding to
stage the event. The Muskegon Area Intermediate School District and
our local schools did not construct the scenario, but participated
with other county agencies, hospitals, and emergency responders in
conducting the drill.

This exercise was meant to sharpen the skills and response time of our
emergency services personnel, but was unfortunately clouded by the
choice of this fictional group. We believe this exercise had
everything to do with testing emergency response time and the
protection of our children. It had nothing to do with the home school
population.

As educators, we believe that the first and most important teacher is
the parent, whether in home schools, public schools, or non-public
schools. We all work together to ensure a safe and secure environment
for our children to live and grow.

We sincerely regret offending home school educators. We believe that
all parents are educators and do important work at home with their
children.

Sincerely,

Michael H. Bozym,
Superintendent, Muskegon Area Intermediate School District (MAISD)

**********


In the world today Homeland security is a very important issue. The
training of our nation to respond to the many threats we face is of
utmost importance. As part of a full scale homeland security exercise
on September 21, 2004 in Muskegon, I wrote about a fictional group and
fictional scenario for the exercise. This fictional group and
scenario made reference to fictional people who are against schools.
This fictional group and scenario was not meant to offend any home
school students. It has nothing to do with any home school
population. Home school students and former students are a very
important part of our nation. This scenario will not be used again.

Daniel Stout
Muskegon County Emergency Services
Daniel Stout: (231) 724-6341
stoutda@co.muskegon.mi.us

*****
Please forward all additional questions and comments to the Public
Information Coordinator at the Muskegon Area Intermediate School
District at ktank@remc4.k12.mi.us or (231) 767-7263.


Kristin Tank
Public Information Coordinator
MAISD
630 Harvey Street
Muskegon, MI 49442-2398
Phone: 231-767-7263
Fax: 231-773-3498
E-mail: ktank@remc4.k12.mi.us
Visit our Web Site: http://www.muskegonisd.org
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OTHER RESOURCES:

Sep. 22: WorldNetDaily (Michigan)
Anti-Homeschooling Bigots Strike Again
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=1820

Sep. 22: Muskegon Chronicle (Michigan)
Homeschoolers Incensed by Drill Scenario
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=1821


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