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[Susan notes: Author points out when an apology isn't an apology.]

Published in New York Times

To the editor

Re "Education Chief Again Apologizes for `Terrorist' Remark" (news article, March 2):

Education Secretary Rod Paige still does not get it. You report that he told a gathering of superior teachers, "If you took offense at anything I said, please accept my apology."

This is not an apology. Secretary Paige's statement puts the burden of blame for atrocious judgment on others.

If he were truly apologetic, he would fully acknowledge his egregious lapse in calling the National Education Association a "terrorist organization," period, with no qualification.

Conditional contrition is no contrition at all.

Donald W. Mitchell

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