As a firm believer in letting sleeping dogs - well, sleep - I first hesitated to write this letter. But, as more and more comments mount and speculations rage, I feel compelled to say something.

First, this "Whitney the Hyphenated" is not the same Hyphen that penned Sunday's letter regarding the recent school bond election outcome. Granted there were many similarities, so I can see how those less familiar with myself might have been confused. But, alas, the letter was not mine.

However, I defend Mrs. White-Vineyard's right to stand up and state her position. Bravo for voting and bravo for exercising your right to free speech and press - all of which are very important Constitutional rights that I emphatically defend for all citizens, regardless of how I or you feel about what they are saying.

I do not know the young authoress so I cannot speak as to her experiences or motivations. But, for those who say she was better off keeping quite - shame on you. There are but a few things in this life I feel more strongly about: every single person has a duty to express their thoughts and their positions, especially in the political realm. Otherwise, we women would still be forced to suffer in silence, never afforded the opportunity to do exactly what Mrs. Vineyard did. Freedom of Speech and the right to vote means everyone has an equal say - not just those we agree with.

In the interest of full disclosure I will end with this: I have four children in the school system and I do own a home and pay taxes. I am the daughter of a retired school teacher and have previously worked as a substitute teacher and, as you might recall, as a local reporter that covered our fair school district. And I voted in favor of the bond for my own personal reasons and governed by my own conclusions.

Sincerely,

Whitney Lee,

formerly Whitney White-Ashley

Stephenville