I pray (please – don’t sequester me to the Religion & Values pages) that the majority (think the U.S. Constitution ) of the people (“Voice of the People”) are represented by my words.

The Portland Press Herald is essential to my daily routine, but your tabloid approach to a monumental issue (“Freedom of speech, backlash of anger over four words at South Portland High School,” Page 1, Feb. 24) sincerely frightens me.

Our kids own the venue for the sustainability of our greatest endeavors! So their mentors, as in public educators and parents, must be powerful and trustworthy. Our universal challenge is to maintain an open line with kids, listening and responding to them without sacrificing all our essential leadership and conviction.

Regrettably, for one to clearly and publicly side with youth in this particular case (“Our View: South Portland students give lesson in patriotism,” Feb. 26) certainly undermines the critical authority of their schools and is potentially toxic to parental supervision. We so need the likes of Bill Nemitz, if his health may allow, to defuse this powder keg.

Yes, that’s right. It’s a volatile subject, as media circulation immediately demonstrated with passionate response, especially my own (I’ve spent hours trying to get it right).

Sadly, Lily SanGiovanni, senior class president at South Portland High School, has cleverly turned a personal issue (“under God”) into a sovereign issue (“if you’d like to”) by using her elected position and unguided power. I’m so sorry, but I’m compelled to inform her that power and freedom do not exist without accountability!

James Nolan

South Portland