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Be Careful About What You Publish (Opinion)

To the Editor:

I am a retired public school science teacher who taught in a district north of Cincinnati for 32 years. I am a lifetime member of the Ohio Education Association-Retired and the National Education Association-Retired. When I was active in the classroom, I was a full member of the National Science Teaching Association and participated in their conventions.

This is a totally irresponsible opinion piece and made me want to cancel my subscription immediately (“Why Educators Often Have It Wrong About Right-Leaning Parents,” March 4, 2024). As an analytical thinker and science teacher, I wanted you to know why I am shocked by your publication of this anti-public-school trope.

During my career, I was ambushed by activists at “Meet the Teachers” night who wanted to know my views on the Big Bang Theory. Our conservative school board directed all science teachers to write and submit their views on evolution. Life science teachers had to attend a professional development session on how we could read Bible passages while teaching evolution. I was verbally excoriated in the hallway by a parent who believed my teaching about pollution’s impact on health and the environment was scaring kids about chemicals. I have been given books to read that counter mainstream views about environmental issues and copies of texts relating all science to the will of God. A responsible science teacher cannot meet such people in the middle—they are flat out wrong and not calling them out further undermines the public’s faith in the great science being done in our country.

By publishing an opinion piece that argues educators “have it wrong” about right-leaning parents, you gave tacit endorsement to the dissemination of wrong, misleading, and twisted facts in public education. This is dangerous for our society and the mission of public schools in our democracy. Think about this when you wonder why smart young men and women are not lining up to be science teachers.

Marilyn Fowler
Retired Science Teacher
Aurora, Ind.

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