Amy Sorrell is valued

Dateline: Fri 17 Aug 2007

Please read Nick Hedrick's commentary in indyrats.com, on Allen County journalism/English teacher Amy Sorrell taking a new job with the private Keystone Schools in Fort Wayne. She got in hot water with her former supervisors for a student column that ran in the paper, looking at the issue of being a gay teen-ager and coming out.

The News Sentinel in Fort Wayne broke this story Sunday. Here are some excerpts:

"In Sorrell, millionaire businessman Don Willis (Keystone Schools founder) sees a gem....Willis clearly has no qualms regarding Sorrell's history, and even embraces it: She 'will bring unparalleled life experiences related to our freedoms and responsibilities as citizens,'" he said in a news release. 'The hiring of Amy Sorrell, a nationally recognized teacher, continues the growth of the Keystone Schools' academic program and the execution of their mission.'"

Hedrick says Sorrell "has wrestled herself free from the First Amendment-stomping administration at East Allen County Schools."

He also quores Sorrell, from a story in the Fort Wayne papers: "I think with the experience I've had over the past few months, I've proved to myself the First Amendment is important enough to me that I'll fight for it," Sorrell told the newspaper. "I think Keystone understands that is one quality I'm going to bring - to teach these kids their constitutional rights."

The Indiana Law blog also reported on this story Sunday, when it first broke. I was curious about Don Willis, and after reading his biography -- hugely successful businessman -- I read that the law blog went to the Keystone Schools' home page and quotes this description of the school:

" 'A Christian world view is the foundation on which learning will occur. Rigorous curricula will be presented. Parent support will be expected. All students will be nurtured to achieve their fullest potential. Students will be empowered by the discovery of their unique gifts and abilities. Judeo-Christian heritage, ethics, and morality will be taught in a Christ-centered environment. A full understanding of the freedoms and responsibilities of citizenship will be taught to every student to encourage each to love, honor, and respect our country.' "

Notes the Indiana Law Blog: "Apparently this school numbers free speech and tolerance among the 'freedoms and responsibilities of citizenship.'"

Bully for Keystone and Willis. Congrats to Amy Sorrell. She fought the good fight and she proved that reason coupled with will can triumph over tyranny and petty minds. And that the Constitution trumps school Nazis.

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