Alliance for the Separation of School & State
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Fresno, CA 93728

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The Education Liberator, Vol. 2, No. 5, June 1996

Psssst...Wanna' see a letter from a teacher?

Marshall Fritz
Separation of School & State Alliance
Fresno, CA

Dear Mr. Fritz,

I teach health education for grades first through sixth at XXXXXX School in XXXXXXXXX. I have been a public school teacher for the past 16 years. I am now sending in my signed Proclamation and respectfully request that I join the other "School Sakharovs."*

Ten years ago I decided it was time to tell the education establishment that something was dreadfully wrong. But when I approached the powers that be, I was merely dismissed.

When I approached my colleagues, the same ones who complained about "the system," they politely listened, then tossed me aside as too radical. After all, they would say, eliminate the public schools and what would we do for jobs?

I decided that the way to initiate reform was to get on decision making committees. But to my dismay, the majority of curriculum decisions were already made, or the choices offered were either worthless or ridiculous. There was no opportunity for intelligent dialogue, no room for opposing points of view.

I knew I couldn't do it alone, so I became active in my local union. But I soon learned that teachers'unions have nothing to do with education.

Recognizing that I was without allies, I proceeded to take matters into my own hands. I decided to teach the way I felt it was intellectually and methodically correct on my own. Luckily, the powers that be consider health education to be a minor subject, thus I was never closely scrutinized.

I threw out all of the garbage. The self-esteem programs, the alleged drug prevention programs, and I retooled the sex education programs. Basically, I threw out all of the affective nonsense and replaced it with a trivium based curriculum.

Mr. Fritz, the results are astounding! My fourth grade students know more about the structure and function of the human body than most adults. They understand the REAL reasons for not using drugs; they understand cause and effect of muscular development.

I taught my third graders Greek and Latin roots of words so they can recognize and identify medical terminology. They can also retell the exciting history of the discovery of microbes from Anton Van Leeuwenhoek (circa 1600s) to the present.

My second graders have learned to diagram and identify bones of the hands and feet.

My first graders can tell you what "osmosis" means, what "intercellular gaseous exchange" means, and exactly what a "semipermeable membrane" does.

However, I can't let my colleagues or administrators know what I am telling you. To do so would reveal that I have abandoned the state mandated curriculum. The only person I share my experiences with is XXXXXXXXXXXXX, the custodian, a homeschooling dad of four children.

I'm having a ball running an outlaw curriculum, but I know that what I am doing will have limited effect on my students. The system is too strong. I see in my upper grades (fifth and sixth) the dullness and ambivalence to learning.

I know that it is time for me to leave the public school system.

The Separation of School & State Alliance is a Godsend. While it's reassuring to know that there may be some like me around, it is a THRILL to know that there are MANY like me around, and organized!


* Andrei Sakharov won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1975. From his position of eminence within the Soviet Union, Sakharov courageously denounced the failures of communism within his own country. School Sakharovs are educators who have worked within our educational system, have witnessed its failures first hand, and are willing to speak out (see "The Cement Canoe" Sept. '95).

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