On March 3, high school students all over the nation learned a valuable lesson from Democrats (including U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-1st District) who chose not to attend the speech given by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu was here at the invitation of House Speaker John Boehner to discuss Israel’s concerns about Iran’s ability to acquire nuclear weapons.

What lesson did our kids learn by Rep. Pingree’s decision not to attend? “If given the opportunity to ‘view’ a primary source or a biased secondary source on issues concerning Israel and Iran, and their impact on the United States, listen only to the source approved by your peers. Whatever you do, do not listen to the side with which you do not agree.”

It was fine for members of Congress to listen to British Prime Minister David Cameron, at President Obama’s request, speak of why we should not impose sanctions on Iran. However, it was not OK to listen to Prime Minister Netanyahu discussing his nation’s survival.

No matter my personal feelings about Iran and Israel, I want representation in Congress that is willing to listen to the facts from both sides before making a decision.

I want representatives who model for future voters how to listen with an open mind. I want leaders who model not going along with the crowd or caving in to peer pressure.

I want teachers who teach students how to think, not what to think. I expect the same behavior from our representatives in Congress.

Barbara Danis