A Quick Email to the Illinois Family Institute

Wednesday, August 19, 2009
I was appalled at what was written about Hemant so I sent a short email to the IFI after reading Hemant's post. Here is what I sent, nothing fancy but just something to let them know how I felt:
"I was deeply disturbed to read the professional hit piece penned by Laura Higgins on Hemant Mehta "The Friendly Atheist". Not only was it highly unprofessional to personally attack Hemant over his critique of IFI but the attack on his professional character for something unrelated to "The Friendly Atheist" was particularly egregious."
However, I also wanted to add a few things here:

Higgins wrote:

"Parents have a justifiable concern that the personal views of teachers may find their way into the classroom, either through curricular choices or classroom commentary. Those parents who want nothing more than that their children will believe in God may find someone whose mission in life is to persuade young people to reject a belief in God to be a poor role model."
I couldn't agree more with the first part of her statement as I am very active in finding out the philosophy of my daughter teachers. However, I would be concerned with a teacher that talked about God and their personal beliefs in the classroom.

"Many parents would recoil at having their children spend a school year under the tutelage of a teacher--particularly a charismatic teacher--who in his or her free time blogs favorably about racism and travels the length and breadth of the country preaching racism. Similarly, some parents may recoil at having their children spend a year under the tutelage of a teacher who spends his free time blogging favorably about atheism and homosexuality and traveling the length and breadth of the country preaching favorably about atheism."
I think it is more likely that parents would recoil at the thought of a teacher who spends there free time blogging about religion, Creationism, and Intelligent Design and traveling the country speaking favorably about these unsupported topics.

"Moreover, my fervent hope is that more parents will become involved in public school issues, including asserting their rights regarding the teachers under whose tutelage they place their children."
I certainly hope parents because organizations like the IFI have been pushing for a role in our children's public education for too long.

What I found most interesting though was in her Bio.

"Prior to working for the Illinois Family Institute (IFI), Laurie worked full-time for eight years in the writing center of Deerfield High School, a public high school located in a Chicago suburb."
As a former public school employee she should know how damaging her comments could be to a teacher. Also, I wonder if Ms. Higgins ever spoke about religion in her job.

"Laurie is the Director of the Division of School Advocacy (DSA) for IFI. The newly established Division of School Advocacy is committed to assisting Illinois residents address issues related to the breakdown of Judeo-Christian family values and community standards in public education."
And lastly what breakdown in Judeo-Christian values is she advocating? Aren't public schools supposed to be secular?

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Sorry, I thought I was done. While trying to find a picture of Ms. Higgins (which I didn't find) I did find many articles by and about Ms. Higgins and her very vocal fundie opinions about schools while she worked as a teacher aide. Here are links to a few:




OK that's enough. I need to go to bed.