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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

School Trustees Cross the Church/State Line

March 18, 2004

Re "Beliefs Imperil Funding," March 14: Will Westminster School District Trustee Judy Ahrens really be rewarded in heaven for discriminating against groups of people? The position of Ahrens and her two allies is inappropriate both for members of a public school board and for Christians. A public school remains an institution where people from diverse backgrounds and orientations can come to receive equal access to the opportunities that education affords. Ahrens and her cohorts seem to be playing God.

The Education Department must pursue the decision taken by the school board. It must listen to the parents, teachers and administrators who stand to lose important funding. Beliefs are private, and if the public arena is unacceptable to those like Ahrens, she is fortunate that there are ample opportunities for private expression of moral convictions. However, public schools must remain free from this sort of constriction.

Senya Lubisich

South Pasadena

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The three Westminster school board members are not only ignoring the law they swore to uphold in accepting their positions and putting into jeopardy needed funding for the schools they are supposed to oversee, they are violating the constitutional principle of separation of church and state. Elected officials should not decide public policy based on their own brand of religious belief. It is just this kind of situation for which the recall process is appropriate.

Peter L. Haaker

Westminster

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