Dear Editor:

This letter is in response to Sentinel articles that ran Oct. 4 and 8.

Hundreds of Carlisle Area School District middle and high school students were forced to attend an emotional traumatizing presentation during the week of Oct. 2. School district administrators knew that students would become emotionally distressed based on the history of these Rachel’s Challenge presentations concerning the bloody massacre of students at Columbine High School in 1999.

School district administrators claim that the presentation has an anti-bullying purpose, but I have not been able to find any research which supports this claim. I was also unable to find any professional credentials for the presenter, Alex Jackson, other than his self-described status as a “professional” drummer and presenter on the website for his company.

This surreal incident demonstrates the need for the Carlisle Area School Board to establish standards for presentations to school district students. I recommend that the standards include the requirements that the information to be presented be research-based, that presenters have appropriate professional credentials and that the presentation does no harm to students.

I believe that parents and legal guardians need to support their school district students by letting them know that when they find themselves being approached by someone who is causing them distress or discomfort that they have the right to disengage from that person.

Phillip A. Drumheiser



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