To the editor:
In the article regarding the retirement of the Free State biology teacher, it was unfortunate that the Journal-World attempted to make a political issue out of a personal one. The core of my difference with the teacher was never one of creation science versus evolution science. It was an issue of respect, respect of a person's beliefs and opinions.
As told to me, the actual statement by the teacher was, "When are you going to stop believing the crap your parents teach you at home and start believing the truth." What would you do? Classroom bigotry displayed by a teacher against a student cannot be ignored. Repeated attempts to resolve the matter at a personal level were fruitless. Where is the respect of diversity in beliefs and opinions that we, the citizens of Lawrence, have held so high for so long?
The action of the school district suggests a long pattern of serious problems. It would be wise for the teacher to file a grievance so we could all know the whole truth. I applaud the professionalism of USD 497 in taking steps to ensure that we continue to respect one another and carry ourselves as mature human beings. I am saddened by this whole issue but hopeful that providence will bring forth good as a result.
Joseph M. Harvey,