The school district reviewing the invite of Bill Ayers to a Napervile Illinois High School has canceled the appearance by the former terrorist and his wife Bernardine Dohrn. The community was up in arms after having learned of the invite. Also canceled was the post appearance book signing at Anderson's Book Shop in the same town.
School Superintendent Alan Leis released the following statement:
The appearance by Dr. Bill Ayers at Naperville North High School next week has been canceled.
On Friday, it was announced through a Talk203 email that we were reviewing the decision to invite him and that we were also exploring the possibility of moving the appearance to another venue. Initially, many people were upset about his appearance in a school building, even though it was to have been with a select group of students with required parental permission. Several people offered worthy suggestions about how to make the event more meaningful by concurrently inviting someone that would provide an equally strong opposing viewpoint.
Over the weekend, however, it became clear that this issue was not really about where Dr. Ayers was speaking, but that he was speaking at all. Each day, the level of emotion and outrage has seemed to increase, along with the number of emails and phone calls received. What was most unfortunate was that a few directed their anger toward an outstanding high school and at a well-regarded, award-winning teacher who encourages students to think for themselves.