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Columbia Missourian

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Ryan Ferguson should have been allowed to speak to students

By Mary Anne Holdridge
November 25, 2013 | 4:19 p.m. CST

This letter was submitted to Hickman High School principal Tracey Conrad.

I am emailing you to issue a complaint regarding you disinviting Ryan Ferguson, from the Innocence Project, to speak to your journalism students.

My tax dollars paid to prosecute this man who served nine years in jail for a crime he did not commit. He was exonerated by a Missouri Supreme Court because DNA did not match and false witness statements.

Now my tax dollars are again funding a principal who insulted this man who has been through enough by disinviting him. You should be honored to have Ryan in your school, and it would be such a teachable moment to examine the flaws in our justice system.

Your reasons are that it would cause a disruption. You are causing a greater disruption by disinviting him and preventing free speech. I don't know if Kevin Crane is a buddy of yours or what, but in my opinion it is a cowardly move and a bad example for the children you serve.

Mary Anne Holdridge is a Columbia resident.