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Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

Dear Parents of Mounties~

Today is May 4th. Today marks the anniversary of a very important incident that occurred on May 4th, 1970. Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young sang a song called “Ohio” . This song was about the “Kent State Massacre” in which armed Ohio National Guardsmen fired on protesters at Kent State University who were protesting the Nixon announcement that the United States would be invading Cambodia and that there was a need for 150,000 more troops to fight the Vietnam War. The protesters had set the ROTC building on campus on fire which forced the Governor to send the National Guard to the campus. When the Guardsmen fired they killed four students and wounded nine others. The protest at Kent State ignited college campuses across the nation as nearly 500 colleges shut down due to protesting. The following are two verses of the song “Ohio” written to commemorate the incident.

Tin soldiers and Nixon coming,

We're finally on our own.

This summer I hear the drumming,

Four dead in Ohio.

Gotta get down to it

Soldiers are cutting us down

Should have been done long ago.

What if you knew her

And found her dead on the ground

How can you run when you know?

What most people don’t know is that a similar incident occurred on May 14th, 1970 at Jackson State University in Mississippi which was an all African American school. During a student protest guardsmen entered a dorm and fired automatic weapons killing two students and wounding nine others. There had been no warning and no reason for such a reaction. Very little media attention was given to this incident especially in comparison with the Kent State Massacre which enraged African Americans everywhere who felt that the death of an African American was not taken as seriously as that of a White American.

These examples of protest were met with an extreme end. Protest has been a part of American History since the colonial days. After all, the colonists were the first to role model the effectiveness of protest when they refused to purchase British goods when the British imposed taxes upon them to pay for the French and Indian War which had occurred in the colonies. At the same time the British refused the colonists equal representation in Parliament which literally meant that the colonists, although considered British citizens had absolutely no voice in their own government. We all know how these protests ended; with a war in which the farmers with pitchforks overthrew the, at the time, greatest nation on earth.

Protests are effective. Fast forward to the Presidency of George Washington. Washington decided to place a tax on whiskey to create revenue for the federal government. Some parts of Pennsylvania and Ohio that used whiskey to barter for goods did not like this idea so they began to protest and refuse to pay the tax or to listen to what the government told them. They caused such a ruckus that President Washington had no choice but to flex the muscle of the federal government and deploy troops to the area to put down the now named “Whiskey Rebellion”. Protests are good and they are healthy, a good way for the people’s voice to be heard. Thomas Jefferson even said, “A little rebellion now and then is a good thing.”

Fast forward again to the 19-teens and the many women who took to the streets in protest. They were marching for the right to vote, for the right to have a say in what their government did. Their relentlessness, despite threats of divorce and more, won them the nineteenth amendment, the right to vote. At around the same time, the Bonus Army stormed Washington, D.C and set up camp, literally, close to the White House demanding the money promised to them for fighting in World War One. Instead of handing over the funds, troops were sent to the camps and ordered to burn them to the ground. It was a terrible scene in D.C that day.

The 1960’s were certainly a time of protest as African Americans took to the streets in protest of their unequal treatment with the de facto segregation that continued in the South despite the passing of the Brown v. The Board of Education Case in which segregation was deemed unconstitutional. We salute those heroes that were willing to speak their mind and risk their lives for the betterment of American society in general.

The protests against the Vietnam War were some of the worst in the nation’s history. At this point in time the selective service age was 18 but the voting age was 21; therefore, young men in our country could be sent off to fight for the USA and to risk their lives for their nation but they could not have a say in government. This coupled with those who simply did not want to be drafted and those who did not want the war in general lead to a difficult situation here at home.

Today we continue to see protest everyday. A couple of days ago, Presidential candidate Donald Trump had to be removed from a spot on the campaign trail where he was scheduled to give a speech at a rally because there was fear for his life. This kind of protest is not positive. We certainly do not want to see a scene unfold like the one that did at Kent State University 46 years ago in today’s world. However, one can not deny the impact of protest on American Culture and history. Today we remember those who lost their lives at Kent State University and pray for those who will engage in protest in the future, that they might take the lead from Martin Luther King Junior and remember that protest is more productive when it is peaceful and without threats of violence.


Our Advanced Placement exams have begun. Good luck to all our AP students. AP students may leave school once their exam is completed for the day.

Tomorrow, MSJ will celebrate Mass at Saint Peter’s Church at 12:15 for Ascension Thursday. Please feel free to join us.

Friday will be a dress down day for $2 to support Sarah Harvey. Sarah has severe allergies and is in need of a service dog. We will donate all funds collected to assist Sarah is this very expensive but wonderfully beneficial purchase. To donate to Sarah directly please see her gofundme page. Please help Sarah in this effort.

The PFC Calendar Cash Raffle has started. Those Families that signed up to participate in the raffle will be receiving calendars to sell to full fill their opt out obligation. Please contact the front office with any questions at 802-775-0151.

MSJ is very proud to announce the induction of Mr. Martin McDonough into the Vermont Principal’s Association Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony will take place on May 13th, 2016. Mr. McDonough is being inducted due to his incredible dedication to Vermont athletes and, in particular, to our MSJ athletes. Mr. McDonough has served the MSJ community on an unprecedented level for the past 46 years. He truly embodies the mission of MSJ and is often called “Mr. MSJ”. We are thrilled that he is being awarded this honor. Congratulations Mr. McDonough. We love you!

Operation Hat Trick is once again selling baseball caps to support Wounded Veterans. Those interested can purchase a hat at MSJ for $17. Also, on May 12th a Veteran will be throwing out the first pitch at the MSJ vs. West Rutland baseball game!

May 13th is Accepted Students Day along with our underclassmen awards and all school BBQ. School will end at 2pm on this day.

The John Valente Memorial Golf Tournament will be held on May 13th, with  a shot-gun start 1:00 pm

@ the Proctor Pittsford Country Club, fee is $45.00 per person, includes 2 carts per team.

The Mountie Track teams next  meet is Thursday, May 5th at Fair Haven at 4:30pm. Go Mounties!!!The Baseball Team play Saturday, May 7th at Saint Peter’s Field vs. Long Trail at 4:30. The girls tennis team is busy this week. They have matches on the 5th, 6th and 10th. The 5th they play Otter Valley at 4pm at home. The 6th is at Brattleboro at 4:30 and the 10th Mount Anthony at 4:30. Go Mountie sports!!!

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington has asked that all faculty, staff, coaches, administrators, parents and volunteers complete their new safe environment requirement called “Safe and Sacred”. This is an online training that can be located at the following link:


This needs to be completed if you have any interaction with our students surrounding a school related event that may require you to act as a chaperone, driver, scorekeeper, etc. Our list received from the Diocese office today has very few participants listed!

Some important dates are listed below:

Underclassman Awards will be May 13th, 2016, time to be determined

Junior/Senior Prom @ the Brandon Inn on May 14th, 2016

Baccalaureate/Senior Dinner/Senior Awards: Thursday, June 2nd, 2016 beginning at 5pm,

Graduation: Friday, June 3rd, 2016 beginning at 6pm

Honor Our Past: Thursday, July 21st, 2016

Have a wonderful rest of the week and enjoy your weekend!


Sarah M. Fortier

Sarah M. Fortier, Principal