PENNSYLVANIA MIRROR

6-15-72

 

TO-THE-EDITOR

 

Delay seen ‘unfair’

 

As your readers may already know, the decision on whether or not to certify Joe Acanfora as a teacher has once again been postponed. The University Teacher Certification Council states that they would like to meet with Mr. Acanfora and his lawyer. So far this all sounds very fair -- right?

Wrong! The truth of the. matter is that this action is blatantly unfair. Joe Acanfora has proven himself to be an effective teacher. Of a poll taken in his class while he student taught at Park Forest Junior High School, 14 students judged him to be a fair teacher, 86 felt he was good, and 40 said he was excellent. When he was temporarily suspended from that position because of his affiliation with HOPS, parents of his students and many townspeople rallied in his behalf. It would seem logical then that the only ‘grounds’ on which Mr. Acanfora’s certification is being delayed over two months, despite the fact that he is due to graduate in a few days, is because he has participated in HOPS and has freely, shamelessly, guiltlessly admitted to being homosexual.

Homophiles of Penn State is an organization devoted to the liberation of the homosexual in society. It tries, in its own small way, to work for the happiness of a minority group. HOPS hurts no one; being gay hurts no one. Joe Acanfora has neither mentioned or advocated anything dealing with homosexuality while teaching.

Joe Acanfora is not ‘guilty’ of any misdemeanor. I beg to differ with Dean VanderMeer’s analogy of homosexuality with shoplifting(!) This statement is even more absurd when one considers it comes from a man who is supposedly a paragon of the academic community. This man and 5 other deans are now going to pass judgment on Joe’s morality.

Morality is not simply conforming to a norm. In our pluralistic society made up both of Bellefontes and Philadelphias norms differ greatly. The deans themselves cannot come up with a coherent definition of morality. If anything is morality not defined by not hurting others and practicing love for one’s fellow man? As long as I have known Joe Acanfora that is all he has been ‘guilty’ of.

GLENN S. FRIEDMAN

State College