Letter to the Editor: In Support of Free Speech

~ Submitted by Kathy Jarvis

Recently, The Bedford Citizen published a Letter to the Editor from Dr. Ann Kiessling,  [Opinion Editor’s Note: Kiessling holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry/Biophysics.] in which she stated certain facts, then expressed her opinion based on those facts. All well and good. Other writers sent letters referring to different facts, and arriving at different conclusions on the same subject. Also fine.

Some of the latter writers argued, however, that Dr. Kiessling’s letter should have been suppressed in the first place. And that is not all right. Free speech means not only freedom for the expression of opinions with which we agree, but also – and much more importantly – freedom of expression for views which may be different from our own.

I commend Dr. Kiessling for her concern and for her courage in sharing her perspective. I also salute The Citizen for publishing it. I appreciate your commitment to free speech in Bedford and hope you will continue to provide an open forum for all points of view. Thank you.


  1. Freedom & Speech are not free, they never have been. We used to have conversations with the many sides of an issue expressed openly with respect. The term “agree to disagree” would be politely accepted by both parties in earnest. Dividing forces, censorship, and “one way fits all” positions drive wedges into our communities nowadays neglecting to note we are all more alike than not.

  2. Thank you, well said and I agree, Bedford should be thankful and proud to have Dr. Kiessling on the Board of Health. I am sure doing all this research and collecting a ton of data to support her recommendations requires a lot of time. I wish those who make their negative comments and attacks would do the same and provide meaningful data and reasons for their arguments, rather than just saying she is wrong, or that she should not publish such articles. As we say it, it is a thankless job, but I know that there are many people like you and me who thank Dr. Kiessling for her service. Thank you Dr. Kiessling

  3. Thank you, Kathy! Your reply is the reason I respect The Bedford Citizen. Plus it always defines whose opinion is being put forward. Thank you!
    Toni Wood

  4. I agree that everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts. I am just grateful that there were several qualified writers who could refute Dr. Kiessling’s facts.

  5. The Bedford Citizen Does Not Publish Every Letter To The Editor That They Receive. Free Speech Does Not Protect Your Right To Yell “Fire!”In A Crowded Theater. Amplifying Information That Is Incorrect And Without Cited Sources Is Not Protecting Free Speech, It Is Dangerous.

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