Talon News - Good Local News



October 5, 2018

Dear Editor,

Subject: AHS Superintendent Kirk Carpenter’s NIKE ban.

I view with deep concern Kirk Carpenter’s recent decision to ban the purchase of NIKE products and can only conclude his actions are based on more than his assertion regarding disrespect for the American flag.

I’m a retired Naval officer who spent 27 years (1972-99) serving in the defense of this country. It should also be noted that I was not a draftee but rather a volunteer. During this time frame I was tasked with defending and upholding the provisions of the U.S. Constitution, which includes the provisions within the First Amendment as it pertains to “freedom of expression.”

I was witness to the race riots of the middle seventies that occurred primarily on aircraft carriers home-ported on both coasts. I was in my early 20s during this time, and after observing one such event on the west coast aircraft carrier to which I was assigned, I articulated to a senior officer my discontent with the riots. He then very patiently explained to me that these men engaged in expressions of discontent were totally within their “expression” rights as guaranteed under the First Amendment. I also apply the same logic to Carpenter’s decision in spite of my deep concern.

My umbrage with his action has to do with his seeming arrogance and/or total disregard pertaining to the prudent and sagacious use of taxpayer money. My last assignment prior to retiring was as the Director of Surface Programs where my duties included the acquisition of training devices for the surface navy. These acquisitions were taxpayer funded and ran into millions of dollars in contracts. I was tasked to ensure that the contracts let were based on competition, ethical conduct and a deep regard for the American citizens who through their taxes made these acquisitions possible.

It appears that Superintendent Carpenter has failed as a public steward in his responsibility to ensure district funds are fairly and prudently managed, but unilaterally came to a decision which, I opine, had nothing to do with a flag.

Edward J.Marquez, CDR USN (Ret)


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