All education involves a moral component, and teachers therefore are concerned with developing moral character, an appreciation for intellectual honesty and objectivity and the ability to reflect upon and wrestle with moral problems.
Throughout the entire history of Western civilization there has been a rich philosophical literature focusing on the need to develop a sense of moral responsibility and a capacity for autonomous moral choice. . . . Those who thoughtfully consider moral choice recognize that moral problems are often highly complex and involve many competing rights and many "goods" and "bads" and that only an informed and educated mind can make wise decisions.
However, to the conservative reli=gionists, any effort to develop a rational ethical philosophy independent of religious faith or any attempt to discuss values without reference to the Bible, is considered to be teaching "the religion of secular humanism" and therefore should be prohibited. These critics do not accept freedom of choice.
Humanists are surely not opposed to reform of public schools or to changes in curricula. Informed parental participation on the local level should be encouraged, but this differs from the vociferous intimidation of teachers and educators by vigilante groups.
We deplore the unwarranted intrusion of the federal government into the school curriculum, and we urge Congress to reconsider the two Hatch amendments. Their use could denude the schools of intelligent content and minimize the effectiveness of teachers in the all-important task of educating our children.