To the Editor:
A most discouraging article appeared in the Times Gazette Jan. 23 proclaiming that the Ohio Supreme Court will not reconsider its decision of dismissal of the public school science teacher John Freshwater, whose “offenses” ran the gamut from displaying a poster of President Bush engaged in prayer to his teaching critical thinking skills with regard to the evolutionary process. There was also a Bible in Freshwater’s classroom. Education has indeed devolved.
The first schools in America were founded for the purpose of teaching reading so that the Bible could be read. The history of this nation, founded upon the precepts of Biblical government and laws, very quickly led a tiny, obscure country to the greatest heights scientifically and economically. Our buildings and monuments in Washington are resplendent with our national character of honoring God. In addition, our currency proclaims our faith and our value system.
Teaching critical thinking skills is vital in every subject taught in school. It is what distinguishes active minds from programed robots. Teachers must teach children how to think as opposed to telling them what to think. Facts and evidence must be weighed carefully against all variables and theories in order to reach logical conclusions. This process extends into every facet of life, enabling individuals to ascertain truth rather than accepting propaganda in decision making. To prohibit this process of clear thinking in the field of science is paradoxical indeed, if not downright ludicrous.
It is important for the voters of Ohio to know which four members of the Ohio Supreme Court perpetuated this violation of our values. I am sorry to say I voted for some of them. Justice Judith Ann Lanzinger, Justice Judith L. French, Justice William M. O’Neill, and Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor were the four responsible. I would never make the mistake of voting for them again.
There were three justices who adamantly stood up for the teacher involved in this sad case of unjust dismissal. Justice Terrence O’Donell, Justice Paul E. Pfeifer, and Justice Sharon L. Kennedy are the three of whom we can be proud.
Please take note for future reference. Your vote speaks loudly, even to those who are morally deaf.