Thursday, March 20, 2008

School board attacks member's blog

Keith Stamm is a member of the Reading School Board. Keith Stamm is also a blogger. Since January 2005, Stamm has been blogging on his self-titled blog,, which has received more than 70,000 visitors.

Just this week, some of the other members of the Reading School Board found out that Stamm had a blog. At least one board member and a clergyman in the audience didn't like a comment posted by a reader on Stamm's blog, according to the Reading Eagle.

From the newspaper article:
At the school board meeting, the Rev. Steven R. McCracken, whose two children attend district schools, said that posts on the site were racist and others encouraged students to damage homes of school administrators. McCracken, who is pastor of St. James Chapel Church of God in Christ, 11 S. Ninth St., did not provide specific examples. Contacted after the meeting, he acknowledged he had not seen the blog entries but had heard about them from other people.
Stamm is one of only 2 Republicans on the 9-member school board. The board president is a Democrat. Isn't it interesting how intolerant Democrats are about other views?

Stamm told the newspaper he does omit entries that contained obscene language, but otherwise allows posters to express their opinions.

The rest of the Reading School Board needs to brush on the First Amendment. Everyone has a right to free speech, even elected officials ... even Republicans.

I couldn't help but notice Stamm posted a link to the U.S. Constitution on his site today, perhaps giving some of his fellow board members an opportunity to brush up on the Bill of Rights. They should take that opportunity.


Anonymous said...

Wait one minute here buddy.
First of all Stamm runs both tickets Democrat and Republican when running for re-election. Second of all Keith decided to post that comment. I have left comments with him on his blog that make perfectly good sense and he decided not to post them. He chose to post the comments about the animals and riot. Second of all, that picture of Stamm looks like it was airbrushed BIG TIME compared to what Stamm really looks like. See todays Reading Eagle for the real picture of Stamm!!!!


I've never met Keith Stamm so I have no ax to grind on this issue, but I do want to clarify a comment left by the previous "anonymous" reader. School candidates and judges in Pennsylvania are permitted to file as both Republican and Democrat on the ballot. In fact, you'd be foolish not to file for both tickets since all your opponents are doing it and you'd be at a disadvantage if you don't. I know Stamm ran for mayor of Reading in 2007 as a Republican, so that means he's a registered Republican. As for the comment about not posting every comment left by readers on a blog, it's up to the person who operates the blog to decide if a comment is appropriate. I've rejected comments on my own blog because they used profanity or attacked individuals by name. That's the policy most bloggers follow. You have a right to your opinion, but posting a comment on somebody's blog is a privilege, not a right. If you don't like it, start your own blog.

Anonymous said...

I would like to comment on Tony. You are right, posting a comment on one's blog can be freedom of speech, hence, all comments should be posted in the blog to be fair to the readers and people who would like to post the comment. Also, posting a comment referring to one's ethnicity/race as "animals" is really offensive, specially, when the blog is own by a public figure advising the particular school where the incident took place.

Mr. Stamm (in my opinion anyway) was very unprofessional when posting a blog about an incident that occur for the school he is a board member.

In another note, I have talked to many police officers, students and even seen the video of what actually happened, and yes, indeed the newspaper hyped the situation, as well as the police.

If Mr. Stamm would run for any public office he would not have my vote......

I do agree with the aligations from rev McCraken!!!


I'm afraid I have to disagree with both of your arguments. There is no absolute freedom of speech for anyone. A newspaper can reject a letter to the editor. A TV station can refuse to air something. So if a blogger doesn't want to post a comment, it's his discretion.

As for the "animals" comment, it depends on how you interpret the remark. Calling someone an "animal" is not a racial or ethnic slur. It simply means that a person was out of control. I don't see the connection with a person causing a disturbance and that person's ethic background.

Anonymous said...

If anyone doesn't like what's said on any person's blog, they don't have to read it! This was nothing more than a smear campaign against Stamm.McCracken didn't go in front of Reading city council and boo-woo about a policeman calling them "animals" that was in the Reading Eagle article about this impromptu parade.


Check out the commentary at The Pennsylvania Conservative for more about the witch hunt against Keith Stamm. Here's the link below: