Democratic justice

Editorís note: The following is a copy of a letter sent to state Secretary of Education John Pittenger by the Organization of Students for School Improvement, a studentsí rights, educational improvement, drug abuse information, draft information and public service organization. The studentsí rights division is classified as the Civil Liberties division and stands for the protection of the constitutional rights of college and high school students.

MR. PITTENGER: I was truly shocked when I was informed that Joe Acanfora, a student of The Pennsylvania State University, was about to be denied a basic constitutional right by not receiving his certification to teach in the state of Pennsylvania. In reading this morning where the final decision would rest in your hands, my staff and I decided to write you this letter.

We appeal to you to grant Acanfora his certification to teach. What a person does on his own time is his own affair. The state of Pennsylvania, therefore, has no right to determine to what sex classification one must belong to receive oneís certification to teach. In fact, we fail to see why the issue was raised in the beginning unless it was to damage Acanfora.

Might we further note that a grave constitutional right has been hit upon in this case. The American Civil Liberties Union does have a special interest in this case. There are many organizations that would fight with ACLU, the Students for School Improvement included, for this student to receive his certification. It would be better all the way around, and less expensive, if he were granted his certification.

I once again, on behalf of the Organization of Students for School Improvement, who recently visited Harrisburg, who were assured that such things as this would not happen, an who supported House Bill 966 and support Senate Bill 30 an the Pittenger Bill, ask that Acanfora be granted his right to teach in our state.

The spirit of freedom, the belief in the American Dream, and the principles of democratic justice stand on trial here. Find them innocent by allowing Acanfora to teach.

James B. Newton, Newton, III

Director, civil liberties division

Students for School Improvement