Editorial opinion


Classroom, Not Courtroom


JOE ACANFORA, the homosexual whose teaching certification was delayed in Pennsylvania, is taking his case back to court.

But this time, Acanfora is not up against the University. Now the Montgomery County, Md. school district, which employs Acanfora, is going to have to defend its position.

The. school district removed Acanfora from the classroom when it learned of the delay in his Pennsylvania certification. According to district officials, the move was not punitive, but a :temporary action, until the challenge to his certification in Pennsylvania is investigated.

In Maryland, however, Pennsylvania certification is not even necessary to hold a teaching job. Montgomery County school district officials obviously are making Acanfora a special case because of his straightforward attitudes on homosexuality. In other cases, it doesn’t matter that a teacher has no certification. Because Joe Acanfora is a homosexual, he is being investigated.

DUAL STANDARDS of Montgomery officials are forcing Acanfora to fight for his job. While the investigation continues -- and there is no limit as to the length of time -- Montgomery County officials could take in examining the case -- Acanfora is locked out of the classroom and forced to fight costly court battles.

Fortunately, Acanfora has picked up some local support, including students, the Montgomery County Education Association, the National Education Association, a gay activists group in Washington, D.C. and a local newspaper.

But the fact that Acanfora needs support at all is the tragic part of his position. Regardless of where the situation may occur, public officials have no abi1ity or right to decide the moral character of another individual, no matter what cover they use for their investigation.

JOE ACANFORA is a victim of the small minds of a few people. Small minds are not needed in modern education, but open minds like Acanfora’s are. It’s time Joe Acanfora is awarded his proper place -- in the classroom.