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Jeff Jacoby Calls for Separation of School and State in The Boston Globe - AGAIN!

by Tammy Drennan

Originally published in Alliance e-Notes, Vol. 1, No. 2, March 7, 2007 

“The only way to end the political battles over schooling is to depoliticize the schools.  And the only way to do that is to separate school and state.” - Jacoby

Responding to yet another high court decision that says parents have no rights regarding what their children are taught in public school, award-winning columnist Jeff Jacoby has publicly stated for the second time now that the only real solution to the war between parents and the state is for parents to go on the offense and take their children back.


Any other possibilities?  One, Mr. Jacoby points out: 

“Parents who don’t like the values being forced down students’ throats have two options.  One is to educate their children privately.  The other is to find enough allies to force their own values down students’ throats.” - Jacoby

As many of you may recall, there was a day when suggesting that government and education are incompatible was something you did with the utmost caution.  You introduced the idea gently, eased people into the possibility, prepped them for it so shock wouldn’t set in before they even heard the end of your case.


And now look where we are!  A major writer can openly call for separation in a nationally known, liberal newspaper and live to write about it again.


Ideas can change the world, but not overnight.  There’s a cumulative effect.  First, we talk among ourselves, flesh out what we really think and believe.  Then we venture a word or two to friends or colleagues.  Next we create alliances and begin to speak more confidently and boldly.  Finally, we can debate openly.


The concept of separation has reached this last stage.  Most people may still disagree with us and many may even fear us, but the path for open debate has been paved.  Respected writers now find themselves with national platforms from which to expose the inherent problems of state-controlled schooling.

Mr. Jacoby summed up the situation succinctly: 

“When school systems deal with issues of sexuality, religion, politics, or the family, there is always an overriding agenda — the agenda of whichever side has the greater political clout.” - Jacoby

We might add that there is no aspect of education that is immune to debate over worldview and thus “safe” in the hands of the state.


This is a perfect opportunity for you to publicly join the debate over separation of school and state.  Let The Boston Globe hear your point of view — or write to other papers and reference Mr. Jacoby’s column.  Here are some links to get you going.

A Call for Separation of School and State by Jeff Jacoby

The Boston Globe Letters to the Editor

For talking points (from the Alliance web site)


Can’t we just reform public schools?

Quotations – quoting an authority or well-known figure can be powerful in a letter



High court decisionsParker vs. Hurley and Fields vs. Palmdale School District

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Last updated March 7, 2007

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The Catholic Catechism

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