Source: Sherman Publications

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Letter to the Editor
A call for more views in E-blasts

October 05, 2011

Dear Editor,

I was thoroughly disappointed when I recently received an email from Clarkston Schools Superintendent Rod Rock. The email, which decried Charter Schools in Michigan, was completely biased and intended for nothing more than dispensing Dr. Rock's personal political views and to persuade recipients to the same.

What really irritated me, however, was the fact that the sender email address was This is the email address that is associated with what is supposed to be a non-profit, non-political organization that simply posts Clarkston-area calendar events online.

There is actually a link to on Clarkston School's home page. The link is labelled "Online Community Calendar." I am on this distribution list because it was "sold" as the fan-out email list for Clarkston Schools. I, like many others, added my email address to the list in order to receive school cancellation notices during the winter months, NOT to receive emails containing one-sided political rhetoric.

The issue of Charter Schools has been, and will continue to be, debated in public forums across Michigan. Dr. Rock, however, seems to feel that he has the right to use his access to a non-political organization to present his opinion only. Is Dr. Rock going to offer the email address to opposing viewpoints? Shouldn't people with other viewpoints be able to respond to his email or present their side of the debate? In his email, Dr. Rock states that he respects "your opinions on this and all issues", yet there is no way for one to reply with one's opinion.

This is a complete abuse of influence and power by the Superintendent. Unless Dr. Rock wants to offer equal time to his detractors, he should use his email address to voice his personal political opinions.

I intended to copy Dr. Rock on this email. Unfortunately, after a relatively thorough search of Clarkston School's website, it appears that his Clarkston Schools email address is conspicuously absent. All I was able to find was a link to sign up for Dr. Rock's personal Twitters and a link to his personal blog, which, coincidentally, featured a link to an article about Charter Schools. I wonder how he receives all of those valuable opinions from Clarkston residents.

David Yarnall

Independence Township