A Marine veteran and Academy Award winning film producer said he was barred from speaking to a U.S. government class at a Montana high school because he was “a right-wing conservative.”
Gerald Molen, who won an Oscar for co-producing Schindler’s List, had been invited to speak to a class of seniors at Ronan High School in Montana. He’s also one of the few conservatives working in Hollywood and is currently making a documentary based on Dinesh D’Souza’s book, “The Roots of Obama’s Rage.”
Molen, who is a popular motivational speaker, said his speech was going to be apolitical. He had planned on reminding students of their individual greatness and opportunities for the future.
But when he showed up at the high school — about 90-minutes from his home in Bigfork, Mont. – the principal informed Molen that he would not be allowed to address students because he was a “right-wing conservative.” He was told that there had been some calls to the school complaining about the planned speech.
“He said some callers didn’t want kids exposed to that, despite not knowing what my message would be,” he told the Hollywood Reporter. “
Molen, who also worked on films like “Jurassic Park,” and “Twister”, wrote a letter in the local newspaper, explaining what happened and expressing is outrage.
“I served three years in the Marine Corps so that others might stand before their peers or even a group of students, but never did I think my voice would be stilled by some mysterious caller(s) on the notion that I might say something they ‘thought’ would not be in the students’ best interests,” he wrote in The Daily Inter Lake.
He said the students were instead “indoctrinated with a sense of fear and mistrust that a fellow Montanan just might stand before them and say something some official school administrator deemed ‘possibly harmful.’”
Molen said he never dreamed that something like that might happen in Montana.
“He apologized for the inconvenience of being canceled and said the decision to cancel was his alone,” Molen wrote. “He was concerned about my presentation. No, he didn’t ask me of the content. No, he didn’t ask to read the speech for any clarification as to content. No, he would not tell me who the complaining party or parties were, nor would he give me any further explanation. Just that there would be no presentation by me that day.”
Andrew Holmlund, the superintendent of the Ronan School District, told Fox News Radio that the decision to cancel Molen’s speech was made by Ronan High School principal Tom Stack. He said the district office was consulted in the matter.
“It was a very unfortunate incident,” Holmlund said. “We don’t treat people that way.
Holmlund said he’s spoken with the principal but declined to comment further.
“It’s regrettable,” he said. “The principal made a decision and that’s not how we treat people.”
Many local residents are furious and some are demanding the school apologize to the Marine veteran and award-winning producer.
“I think it was incredibly rude what the school did,” said State Rep. Joe Read, who lives three blocks from the high school. “The school needs to apologize and they need to invite him back.”
Holmlund said that is certainly a possibility.
“Why would a school dishonor a man who served his country,” resident Chuck Lewis told the Hollywood Reporter. “They should never have censored him like that.”
Molen ended his letter with a question to readers.
“In America today, are our children taught or indoctrinated?”