To the editor:
As the parent of a high school student, I am extremely disturbed and disappointed to learn from the pages of the Lawrence Journal-World the details of Stan Roth's abrupt departure from his position as biology instructor at Lawrence Free State High School.
My son tells me that he learned more -- about both the science of life and about life itself -- from Mr. Roth than from any of his previous teachers. From my own knowledge of the subject of biology, I can testify that his instruction of my son was first-rate. I also believe that my son's newfound emotional maturity is due in no small part to his acquaintance with Stan Roth.
It is a fact that there is a great need for qualified science teachers in the nation as a whole and in the Midwest in particular. Certainly, an instructor of Mr. Roth's caliber is more usually found at the university level, where tolerance for classroom disruption and ill-informed opinion is much less than in the typical high school setting.
Stan Roth went beyond the call of duty in his desire to impart a love of knowledge and learning to his students. His continued research, leadership of field trips, and his willingness to take extra time to work with students who wanted to learn more all speak to his hyper-fitness as a teacher and a role model.
I believe that Stan Roth is and was interested in teaching his chosen subject in great depth to those students that truly wanted to learn. It is a pity that the LFSHS administration and the school district have chosen to deny the current and future students of Free State the benefits of high-quality instruction in order to kowtow to the complaints of those more eager to make a spectacle of themselves than to actually learn something about the subject in which they were enrolled.
I hope that Stan is able to enjoy his retirement doing a lot of what he really loves; learning more about the biology of our wonderful state. I am proud that my son had the opportunity to know Stan Roth, and I'm sure that I'm not alone in feeling this way.