Friday, November 13, 2009

Freedom of Speech & the Army

I've been reading A Soldier's Perspective since about 2005. I've been privileged since then to be able to call CJ, the site's creator, a friend, though I've only been able to meet him in person once, this past April at the Milblog Conference. CJ is a good and honorable man and hasn't been afraid of sharing his thoughts about all kinds of things on his blogs. Earlier this year, someone took exception to what he had to say and complained to the Army.

Now, because of some very small-minded, petty, dictatorial people within the school system in Huntsville, Alabama, CJ has turned over ownership of A Soldier's Perspective to his wife, Emily, and even more recently made the decision to shut ASP down. What should have been a simple, personal issue between a parent and school administrators and the PTA has now involved CJ's chain of command because of unfounded accusations made against him. Basically, instead of allowing CJ to tell his side of the story, those in his chain of command are reprimanding him for these false accusations when no actual proof of wrongdoing on CJ's part has been proven. And, to top is all off, they have in essence ordered CJ to keep his opinions to himself because he's supposedly "making the Army look bad". If you ask me, the only ones making the Army look bad are those in CJ's chain of command who do not have the backbone to tell this unprofessional middle school principal and the woman from the PTA that this issue has absolutely nothing to do with the Army. The Army isn't allowing CJ to speak about this issue, even to defend himself in publi, so that job has fallen solely on the shoulders of Emily. She did a wonderful job explaining the dreadful treatment they, and their children, have been subjected to at the hands of the Huntsville school system this morning on a local talk radio program. It runs about 35 minutes, but it is well worth the listen. Because of the behavior of those within the Huntsville school system, CJ & Emily removed their children from the school and moved them to live with family elsewhere. This wonderful American family is being unnecessarily disrupted and will be separated for months due to the unprofessional, vindictive behavior of these "educators". Someone needs to put a stop to it and right the wrong that has been done to the Grishams.

CJ, not surprisingly, has many friends and supporters ready, willing and able to speak up for him, too, since he isn't allowed to do so himself:

Troy, milblogger and CJ's cohost on the YouServed radio show, has issued a rallying cry to the Pitchfork Brigade with suggestions on how to help right this wrong.

Greyhawk of Mudville Gazette notes the difference between how CJ's free speech rights fair compared to the agruably treasonous statements of Major Nidal Hasan.

Matt at Blackfive is helping spread the word, pointing out this injustice has come to the attention of big-time blogger Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit.

CJ's coblogger at ASP, Marcus, puts in his "Two Cents" on the issue, as well.

War On Terror News notes how milbloggers, and CJ in particular, are shutting their sites down after being taken to task for opinions they've expressed on their blogs.

Greta Perry of Kiss My Gumbo interviewed Emily on November 7th on her WIST 690 (New Orleans) radio show.

Previous posts from CJ & Emily on the school uniform issue:

CJ's Speech To The Board (11/7/09)
Picking Up The Pieces (11/3/09)
Fed Up (10/29/09)
Thug-ocracy At Its Finest (10/27/09)
Fighting The Mob (10/20/09)
When To Say When (10/9/09)
Get Your Hands Off My PTSD (10/7/09)
The Battle Is Won (10/2/09)
The Myth of Security in School Uniforms (10/2/09)
Off Topic: School Ignores Parents (10/2/09)

I'll be joining Troy's Pitchfork Brigade and writing some letters. If you know CJ, or you are dismayed by the treatment he has received, join us.

Update 11/20/09:

I became aware of additional content online on this situation (h/t CJ):

Huntsville Times - "Did complaint get him demoted?" (11/20/09) (CJ says he wrote the paper to correct that he never said he was demoted over this.)
The Attack Machine - "Show notes 11/20: School Board digs in, CJ Grisham is a terrorist and we “talk turkey”…" (11/20/09)
Flashpoint - "Bringing the spirit of terror into school" (11/20/09)
Liberty Research Institute - "CJ Grisham: A Man and His Beliefs" (10/28/09)

1 comment:

Kanani said...

Thanks Miss Ladybug!
I followed the issue too, and was appalled that the Army didn't realize that the caller was crossing a boundary. They should have told her to F*ck off.

Anyway, as a military spouse who no doubt can be a bit critical, I'm watching this with interest.

I've sued a school district before. I know full well what lying self centered bastards they can be!