On August 28, 2008 the Hesperia Star posted on its website a letter to the editor written by Edie Irwin. Apparently, this letter struck a cord with the powers that be in the Hesperia Unified School District. As a result of her letter, Ms. Irwin, a teacher in the district, was initially called into her principal's office at the direction of the superintendent, for interrogation. It was observed that the letter was "posted" by the Hesperia Star at 11:30 a.m. Accordingly, it was assumed by those in power, that Ms. Irwin must have written her letter while working in her classroom using HUSD equipment.


Did she write her letter during her work day? As anyone who has visited Ms. Irwin's class would know, the answer is no. She doesn't have time to write a letter to the editor during her busy class time. Her students are too actively engaged in the learning process. Did she draft her letter using and HUSD computer? Again, no, Ms. Irwin used her personal computer at home during her personal time.


The interrogation yielded no evidence with which Ms. Irwin could be intimidated and/or controlled. Dissatisfied with the results, the district sent Ms. Irwin a letter under the superintendent's signature.


It should be noted, that during Hank Richardson's short tenure serving as District Superintendent, he was approached by Robert Kirk and asked what could be done to "silence" Ms. Irwin, and stop her from writing letters to the editor that criticized the current Board majority. Mr. Richardson responded, "Nothing." Mr. Richardson further explained that we live in the United States of America and that Ms. Irwin enjoys certain guaranteed constitutional rights; including freedom of expression. Apparently, that position has changed now that Mr. Richardson no longer serves as superintendent.


The right to disagree and the freedom to express one's opinion must be honored, respected, and preserved. These are basic rights upon which our nation is founded. We do not live in Nazi Germany. We are not governed by Saddam Hussain in Iraq. Then again, perhaps HUSD is a kingdom all its own ruled by a tyrannical dictator, who neither respects nor tolerates differing opinions and constitutional rights.


We can only hope that with the upcoming election, the people of Hesperia will exercise their right to vote for elect leaders who will serve our children and respect the country we live in.