Peggy Stabile | Messina’s Words Cause Pain

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor
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Having just finished William S. Hart Union High School District board incumbent and local shock-jock Joe Messina’s book entitled, “Ramblings of a Right Wing Bible Thumping White Guy,” I guess Mr. Messina thinks that words can never hurt you.

He describes himself in his book’s introduction as a non-book reader — not so good for a man sitting on a school board whose job it is to select textbooks for nearly 23,000 students in his district. Perhaps, too, Mr. Messina’s book is filled with generalities and unsubstantiated assertions as result of his non-reading habits. His continuous attacks, aimed at the loons on the left, as he refers to people who do not subscribe to his right-wing point of view, and his numerous comments, stated as fact with no sources cited, indicate a strong leaning toward racism, homophobia and xenophobia. This is not a good sign for a man who governs a district that consists not only of white students, but also students of color, LGBTQ students and immigrant students, both documented and undocumented.

Mr. Messina has claimed his beliefs, regardless of how extreme they may be and how vocal he is on his radio show and in interviews, have never harmed any students he serves. I beg to differ. Having been a counselor in the district for almost 20 years, I know the irreparable harm that comes to vulnerable teens and pre-teens, particularly those who fall into already marginalized groups, when faced with disparaging remarks from authority figures. It is thoughtless and cruel comments such as the ones he so often makes that contribute to increasing rates of suicide attempts and suicide completions among teens.

I do not support his re-election.

Peggy Stabile


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