Alliance for the Separation of School & State
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The Education Liberator, Vol. 2, No. 3, April 1996

From the Editor

Don't fence us in

Recently, one of my wife's sisters paid us a visit on the way to the beach. She homeschools her two daughters and is active in a local homeschooling group, so I knew she would be interested in my work with the Separation Alliance. I gave her some back issues of The Education Liberator and lent her a set of SepCon'95 tapes to listen to on her trip.

When she returned, she raved about how good the tapes were. But the thing that really impressed her was the diversity of the speakers. "I've heard of just about all of these people," she said. "I'm amazed you got them all under one roof." That leads me to remark on what I think is the strength of the Alliance ? and of our central idea.

There is a tendency to try to pigeonhole any group pushing for change in education. Is it Christian? Is it fundamentalist Christian? Is it left wing? Right wing? Libertarian? Is it traditionalist, modernist, or ________ (fill in the blank)? Painting ourselves into a corner would suit the opponents of change just fine by ghettoizing us and making us easier to ignore. Thankfully, it is in the nature of the Separation idea that we don't have to do that to ourselves.

Should there be prayer in school? Should schools teach sex education? Should they hand out condoms? Do we want evolution, creationism, or a little of both taught in the science classroom? In my city, fierce battle lines are forming even now over whether the schools should continue allowing students to leave campus during the lunch hour!

What a relief to know that, as Separationists, we don't have to beat each other up over these and a thousand other issues. Indeed, we can all gather under one roof to promote the only solution capable of satsifying everyone (except those whose happiness requires forcing others into a single educational mold). SepCon'95 proved that. I predict that SepCon'96 will demonstrate it even more.

We're a diverse alliance now and that diversity will expand as our sheer numbers grow. The Separation movement has no ceiling that I can see. That, joined with the logic of our idea and the utter failure of state schooling, is why we will win.

Steve Smith

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