National Youth Leadership Forum

During the first week of February, instead of taking a math test, several Japanese quizzes, and doing numerous assignments, I went to Washington D.C. and participated in a National Youth Leadership Forum (NYLF) on Defense, Intelligence, and Diplomacy (DID).

Our first speaker, Barney Barnum Jr. (the fourth Marine to ever receive the Medal of Honor) greeted questions about the legitimacy of our current war in Iraq with the response that the student who asked the question should reconsider their thoughts and/or move to another country. Barnum’s complete dismissal of such liberal questions was greeted with waves of cheering from the uniformed ranks. Needless to say, I went to bed less than thrilled.

I think that the reporter may not have a good grasp on what the word “liberal” means, but the response by Barnum makes it seem like it was a propaganda event instead of an educational event. nylf.org states “Leadership requires a greater understanding of the world around us and demands knowledgeable, involved citizens.” and “Students participate in thought-provoking question and answer sessions with highly respected, internationally recognized civilian policy makers and senior military officers, who provide rich insights into current issues and discuss the strategies that helped them succeed.” How is ‘shut up or move’ a good answer to a question from a high school student at an academic conference?

However, the student’s question may have been stupid, inappropriate, or confrontational.

Does anyone have video, audio, or a transcript?

http://enloehs.wcpss.net/eagleseye/2004/february04.pdf

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