Americans United for Separation of Church and State

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Church State Issues

I'm ashamed of my overprotective school board

Nov 3, 2014

Arizona Republic

Mixing government and religion in the Gilbert Schools????


I'm ashamed of my overprotective school board

Sonja Damazio 7:14 p.m. MST November 1, 2014

As a parent of children in Gilbert Public Schools and a Republican, I am embarrassed of our school board. Important decisions that affect our entire district are being made by a few people who are a part of a very far right-wing religious fringe.

Their latest decision to edit a biology book to remove any reference to abortion is absurd. The board is using a state law that recommends educators "present childbirth and adoption as preferred options to elective abortion" to assert their religious views even though the book was reviewed by an administrator in the state Department of Education who said the book does not violate the statute.

Nobody is saying abortion should be encouraged to the students. It is a fact that abortion is a legal option, and to not mention this fact sets a dangerous precedent.

History and the present simply can't be rewritten. We can't allow our political or religious views dictate how students are taught.

Many people object to the death penalty, but is this issue going to be left out of a textbook? Of course not, and it shouldn't be!

Educators must not be stifled by an overprotective school board. While teachers should never endorse their views, they should be able to teach what is going on in our world. It is their job to present the issues of today and the past, and the school board should not take that away from them.

— Sonja Damazio, Mesa