To the Journal editor:
Once again, a third of the Opinion page of The Mining Journal contains public school and public school teacher bashing by Cal Thomas (Nov. 8).
It seems that he is denial of what the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states. The words “separation of church and state” do not appear in the U.S. Constitution, but the concept is enshrined in the very first freedom guaranteed by the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”
Known as the establishment clause, the opening lines of the First Amendment prohibit the government from creating an official religion or favoring one religion (or nonreligion) over another.
The separation of church and state enables all Americans to practice their deeply held beliefs in private and in public. It does not mean that public tax dollars should be used to support a private or parochial school. My father served on the Escanaba Board of Education, and I remember his firm stance on this issue.
I wonder if Mr. Thomas would support tax dollars being given to private Islamic or Jewish schools, as well as Christian schools? How would he determine what private schools are worthy of tax payer support?
As a retired public school teacher, I understand why there is a teacher shortage. Public school teachers are being insulted, ridiculed and demeaned by people, such as Mr. Thomas, on a regular basis. Has Mr. Thomas ever looked into what is actually being taught in public schools?
I doubt it, as he has said, “The real issue is what is being taught in many public schools which minimize fundamental subjects like reading, math, science, and history in favor of a progressive worldview.” I can almost hear the collective gasp of public school teachers who just read this!
Take my word for it, public school teachers are teaching reading, math, science and history! And the pressure is on them to demonstrate improvement in student test scores, in these subjects, every day.
If in doubt, check out Michigan’s Academic Standards: https://www.michigan.gov/mde/services/academic-standards
Yes, we need both sides of an issue. But, Cal Thomas’ bias against public education is getting a bit old. Enough is enough. If the we want teachers in our schools, then we better start supporting and honoring them. And thanking them!