To the editor:
Reading John Watkins' recent letter reminded me again of the dismay I and many other parents involved in Christian education felt when we read Forrest Swall's unfair and misleading campaign rhetoric. Now that the dust from the election has settled, perhaps it's time to set a few facts straight.
Mr. Swall attacked candidate Bob Skahan's choice to educate his children at Douglas County Christian School (DCCS), an institute he characterized as ``private'' and ``fundamentalist.'' Although Mr. Swall did not mention DCCS by name, with only 2 private schools in town, it was not hard to infer which one he meant.
For the record, DCCS is a non-denominational, parent-controlled school with families representing 14 different churches, a wide variety of religious and political viewpoints, and all rungs of the socio-economic ladder. We are diverse, but we are bound together by the common goal of giving our children an academically sound Christian education. We believe we are doing so. Because tuition rather than tax money supports DCCS, we are a ``private'' school. Because we believe in the inspiration of the Bible and the application of its teachings to everyday life, Webster's labels us ``fundamentalist.'' However, to share a common set of values is not narrow-minded, to pay for schooling is not elitist, and to believe in the teachings of the Bible is not bigotry.
Mr. Swall further questioned Mr. Skahan's ability as a DCCS parent to deal fairly with legislation concerning public education. Not only is this insulting to Mr. Skahan, it implies that DCCS would somehow encourage such action. This is false. We have a cordial, cooperative relationship with Lawrence's public schools. Our 9th grade graduates attend Lawrence High, so we have an ongoing and vital interest in public education.
Most disturbing of all, Mr. Swall made no attempt to verify the truth of his assertions before making them. To the best of our knowledge, he has never set foot in our building. Certainly he has never contacted Ken Rankin, our administrator, or Mark Finger, president of the DCCS School Board. They would have been happy to meet with him at any time to answer questions and/or arrange for him to observe classes in session.
Let us hope that Rep. Swall is more careful in his speech and research than candidate Swall was in this matter.
Jonnie M. Finger,
3010 Riverview Rd.