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Backing Teacher in P.E. Incident

May 12, 1988

In the wake of what has happened in the Bonita Unified School District at Lone Hill Intermediate School and to physical education teacher Kathy Stewart, I feel I must make a statement of support of Stewart.

I read where parents Sherry Schluter and Linda Looyenga went before the board to ask for Stewart's removal before talking with her to get the whole problem brought out into the open. I do not understand their purpose.

From the article, I do understand that the teacher gave the class the option of running a lap or kissing her feet. A motivated individual would run the lap, no debate. Now I wonder what kind of home training would cause a young person to kiss someone's feet to get out of running a lap. Running is what physical education is all about. The ancient Greeks felt that exercise was as important to the total person as the other disciplines.

Fire this teacher and you may end up with a well-liked "yes" man or woman who will agree with all the students and their parents. You would end up with a ball tosser and not a teacher. One parent said the class was humiliated by the options given to them. It's humiliating to most junior high and senior high school youngsters to do any class work that they or their friends don't want to do.

As parents, we can do without this undermining of hard-to-find qualified teachers. We have bigger problems to deal with: drugs, sex, alcohol, AIDS, disrespect for others, profanity, teen-age suicide.

Let's get on with the business of educating our children..



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