I applaud the Supreme Court and Howard Berkowitz ["Public Money, Religious Schools, letters, Dec. 21] for acknowledging that public funding of non-religious textbooks is appropriate. However, as a father of three children who attend a Catholic school, I take issue with Mr. Berkowitz's insinuation that religious institutions are untrustworthy when he says that computers intended for math could be diverted to advance a school's religious mission. The state could not monitor the use of state-supplied computers properly, he says.
The principal and teaching staff at my children's school do not spend the day plotting how to advance the church's religious mission. They work just as hard teaching math, language arts, history and science as the public schools do, with far fewer resources.
I'd be interested to know how the public schools monitor their computer systems to ensure that students are not visiting Web sites that give detailed instructions on how to make weapons. How are students protected from racist or pornographic Web sites? If a public school student visited a religious Web site for research purposes, would the school system lose that computer?
Religious schools have taught their students religion for many years without the use of modern technology. Why would religious institutions jeopardize their funding for technology by using computers for religious teaching when they don't need to?
Parents who send their children to religious schools are taxpayers, and their children should not be excluded from access to public funds for technology.
V. LAWRENCE III