Nancy Giuliani,

It greatly bothers me when I upset someone as I did you yesterday and writing this is all I can do to satisfy my worries and attempt to explain myself and my behavior.

First of all I would like to offer my apologies for any inappropriate actions I may have taken in your company, and for confronting you in your room and causing a disruption in your class. You must understand that I seek only to clarify my views and for all parties involved to be in understanding. Please take the time to read this letter, and if at its conclusion you are still in disagreement or even disgust, so be it. I would just like you to hear me out.

In no way am I or my associates advocating violence, supporting opposing governments or alternative economic systems. The dance is merely a continuation of the learning process, and Kalashnikov Day is just a celebration of an admired individual. The two topics however should be treated separately.

The dance is themed Siberian Nights, not unlike Arabian Nights last year for one of the formal dances. The decorations will be Russian in nature and people attending will be exposed to Russian culture with the decorations, music, food and beverages provided. We are attempting to transcend the typical music blaring, lights flashing, jump festival and put on an internationally significant event. While Communism is a major part of recent Russian history and will be represented at the dance, it is not being promoted. I myself am the most ardent of Capitalists and strongly oppose Communist governments, as it has been demonstrated that on a large scale they are not successful and do not allow for the great freedoms we enjoy in this great nation of ours. One of these freedoms is that of speech and the free, and non-violent expression of opinions. It would be understandable if you decided at this point to not chaperone the dance, but I would appreciate notification either way as soon as possible.

As far as Kalashnikov Day is concerned I and many of my compatriots plan to dress in Russian attire and celebrate this culture, the ideals of Marxism (not Communism), and the achievements of Mikail Kalashnikov. We wish to educate the public on this controversial topic. We are taught that Communism is bad and evil but rarely are we exposed to the ideals of this alternative system that at one point 2/5 of the worlds people choose to be governed under.

This is not unlike how we all dress similar during spirit week or like Santa Clause near Christmas. I cannot see how dressing up like Russians can be considered inappropriate when during spirit week we have days like cross-dressing day and Toledo day. The school also supports assemblies that are basically glorified strip shows and exhibitions of NHS’s finest physical entities. Celebrating a man and his influence is common place, Valentines Day, St. Patricks Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Washington’s Birthday, and Christmas all fall under this category. I do not attempt to compare Kalashnikov to these great men but I do wish to compare the ideal behind the holidays. The only thing that separates these people is our interpretation of the greatness of their actions, these interpretations cannot be judged right or wrong by authorities for that is up to the individual. If I think Kalashnikov is a great man and want to honor him how is that different than honoring one of these other great men. If I requested to write an article about an historical figure such as Susan B Anthony or Amelia Earheart would this request also be denied? I would love to further discuss this with you but I should address your specific objections.

In respect to W.W.II, veterans, and loved ones lost I understand your concern and not wanting to offend anyone. Most of my family was killed by Hitler and it was the Russians that found the abandoned concentration camps and aided in the recovery and placement of the survivors, I have relatives that fought in all arenas of the war and I know well the losses experienced by this horrific event. I however do not understand how this war has anything to do with Russia or Kalashnikov Day, but since you mentioned it and it seemed to affect you I thought it should be addressed. Russia was an ally during the war and Kalashnikov did not influence anyone until 1947, after the war had ended.

I understand how your entire generation was brought up fearing and hating the Russians, however McCarthy is long gone and the cold war is over.
In my proposed article I just wanted to announce Kalashnikov Day and/or the dance whatever is allowed. The dance is an official school function and I would still like to write an article announcing this event.


Ben Eder