Adult Ed

Creeping Fascism Halted

FBI foiled by quick, decisive action

American education saved

October 5,1995

In the previous issue of Ferment I spoke about the restrictions put on teachers in the state of Connecticut. Legislation passed in 1994 ago stipulated that all applicants for any state teaching institution must

  1. give their fingerprints to their local police department

  2. write a check $24 to the FBI to cover the costs of researching their background.

I learned about this curious law last June, when I applied to teach an 8-week course in Conversational French for the Adult Education program in Middletown ,Connecticut. The rationale given to justify it was a fear of potential child molesters in the classrooms. I questioned the validity of this, as well as its appropriateness to adult education.

My objections were put into a letter to the Middletown Press mailed before leaving for the summer. I didn't know that my letter had been published until my return in September.

Middletown is a small town, and it is not surprising that the reaction of the administrators of Adult Education to a pejorative letter in the local newspaper was immediate. They went back to the state legislature in Hartford and succeeded in modifying the law. As it now stands, these requirements no longer hold for persons teaching general interest courses in which no children under the age of 14 are enrolled . A small but significant triumph: my course was inaugurated in October and lasted through the winter of 1995

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