John Hagen

Accurately teaching U.S. history is not an act of hatred

Emily Peyton's demand for Rep. Mike Mrowicki's resignation is a textbook example of using emotional rhetoric when you have nothing substantial to say.

To read Peyton's letter is to leave the reader wondering what Mrowicki's act of hatred was - it offers you no clue. Even when you slog through her repeated accusations of hatred and protestations of love, you will arrive at the end still trying to identify her precise point.

To borrow a line from Shakespeare's Macbeth, Peyton's letter is “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

Mrowicki makes a simple and concise argument in his original commentary: Vermont schools need to be accurate and truthful in their portrayal of American history, and we should avoid emotional and irrational distractions by those who seek to disrupt this effort.

Read More

On the Wampahoofus and critical race theory

‘Critical race theory becomes that scary monster lurking in our schools. Unconstrained by fact or common definition, evidence of its existence is said to be found everywhere. The youth campfire setting has been replaced by the adult information session, but the monster-creating dynamics are the same.’

If you have ever hiked on Mount Mansfield, you are probably aware of the Wampahoofus Trail, and maybe you've even heard stories of the elusive Wampahoofus creature. When I was in college, spending my summers as a camp counselor, the unknown Wampahoofus was an indispensable ally in my efforts...

Read More

Coffey: exemplary public services

Guilford and Vernon are extremely fortunate to have an incredibly energized and capable legislator in Sara Coffey. Two years ago, the majority of voters in both towns sent Sara to Montpelier to represent us in the Legislature. Looking back now, we can feel very good about that choice. Sara...

Read More


GOP's state platform can't hide abhorrent policies of national platform

In her commentary, Erica Walch grounds her argument of Republican moderation and reasonableness in a brief comparison of political party platforms. For voters considering party preference, a deeper examination of these platforms is certainly in order. There is a moral continuity between the platform of the Vermont Democratic Party and that of the Democratic National Committee. The unifying principles are a fundamental belief in the dignity and worth of every individual and the government's responsibility for policy that supports that...

Read More

Coffey: Leadership, creativity, character

One of the great things about our U.S. political process is that it brings forth exceptional individuals willing to serve their communities. Such is the case with Sara Coffey, who has stepped forward to run as state representative for Windham-1, serving the residents of Vernon and Guilford. I first met Sara years ago when we were volunteering at the Broad Brook Grange's sugar-on-snow supper. Since then, I have observed her engagement in many community programs, including her leading role in...

Read More