Boston Newton North High School kowtow to China
Visual Artists Guild finds it incredulous that Boston's Newton North High School administrators would punish senior Henry DeGroot by barring him from attending his prom for writing the truth. DeGroot wrote on the notebooks of the Chinese students he visited during his student exchange program in Beijing: "Democracy is for cool kids." "Don't believe the lies your school and government tell you." and "It's right to rebel."
Claire and Dick Kanter, the founders of the exchange program, criticized DeGroot by saying that,"we are an educational exchange, not a political exchange." Surely, educational exchange should include recognizing that the truth should be told. How many of the Chinese students even knew anything about their own history of the 1989 pro-democracy movement?
Instead of forcing DeGroot to apologize to the Chinese school in Beijing, the Kanters and Newton North High School principal, Jennifer Price, should apologize to DeGroot for their own betrayal of our American principle on freedom of speech and expression.
The willingness of Americans like Claire and Dick Kanter in kowtowing to the Chinese totalitarian control is appalling. They should not bring such control onto our American soil and inflict upon our youth and subject them to accepting the lies propagated by the Chinese Communist Party. Cultural exchange should not be dictated by the Chinese government on self-censorship by people like the Kanters. If cultural and educational exchange is merely a one way street of accepting the dictates of the CCP, then such exchange is merely accepting Chinese propaganda. Ann Lau,
Chair, Visual Artists Guild
June 10, 2014