Letter: Revisit civics classAre our schools not teaching civics or American government any longer? After reading the May 9 letter to the editor from Miss Lenz about the “Day of Silence,” I hope I was not the only citizen of this school district disturbed by the failure of our schools to adequately teach critical American historical documents.
By: Ray Hornung, Hudson, Hudson Star-Observer
Are our schools not teaching civics or American government any longer? After reading the May 9 letter to the editor from Miss Lenz about the “Day of Silence,” I hope I was not the only citizen of this school district disturbed by the failure of our schools to adequately teach critical American historical documents.
Miss Lenz misstates, “According to the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, all men are created equal, even if they happened to fall in love with their same gender.” Even those with a rudimentary civics education will recognize “all men are created equal” as coming not from the Constitution, but from the Declaration of Independence.
The 14th Amendment does say, “No state shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” The last time I looked, there is no separate legal system for differing sexual orientations. Others attempting to prescribe this same amendment as pertaining to perceived discrimination against homosexuals have been rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court; see Romer v. Evans. In this case, Justice Kennedy argued that protection offered by anti-discrimination laws was not a “special right” because such laws protected fundamental rights already enjoyed by all other citizens.
I frankly am surprised our school district supported such a protest to occur in the school and in the classroom. Unless students are not required to speak in class, how can this “Day of Silence” not be considered disruptive to the learning environment? Or is participation haphazardly waived on the whim of our school officials? While I applaud Miss Lenz for supporting her beliefs, I cannot condone her execution. Such protests should not be permitted to disrupt the classroom, even by omission of participation.
As far as the counter protesters Miss Lenz mentions, this is not discrimination, as she claims. Those students were also expressing their viewpoint, although also inappropriately. I see the fact all of this was not sternly mitigated by the school administration beforehand as poor leadership and a lack of foresight.