ADL Welcomes Education Secretary's Clarification On Role Of Faith In The Public Schools
New York, NY, April 10, 2003 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed Secretary of Education Rod Paige's efforts to clarify his remarks about the role of faith in public education, and his statement that he understands and respects the separation of church and state.
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
We welcome Secretary of Education Rod Paige's efforts to clarify his inappropriate remarks about the role of faith in public education, and his statement that he understands and respects the separation of church and state.
Mr. Paige is the Secretary of Education, not the Secretary of Agriculture, and therefore needs to appreciate that when he speaks on the subject of faith and education anything he says can fairly be assumed to reflect this nation's official education policy.
In light of his response, we are confident that Mr. Paige will be more sensitive to this in the future. We hope he will also seize future opportunities to underscore the fact that the values our public schools should be teaching are the democratic values shared by every American, Christian and non-Christian, religious and non-religious.
ADL was deeply troubled by the Education Secretary's initial remarks, when he stated in an interview that, "I would prefer to have a child in a school that has a strong appreciation for the values of the Christian community, where a child is taught to have a strong faith." In clarifying his remarks, Mr. Paige reaffirmed his commitment to a public school education. "I understand completely and respect the separation of church and state," he said.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.