Saturday, February 19, 2005

They get letters : Closed meetings:
To the editor:

I was born in Cobb County, Ga., an area now embroiled in controversy over its teaching of evolution. One cause of the uproar there is that the choice to seek legal counsel about adding controversial “stickers” to biology textbooks was made by unidentified school board members who, due to the anonymity of their actions, are immune from public accountability.

Kansas has a chance to avoid the same mistake by allowing an open, public debate on the teaching of evolution. Sadly, our attorney general seems to be opting for secret proceedings like those that proved so disastrous in Georgia. As the Journal-World reported, Phill Kline has held closed-door meetings with conservative members of the Kansas school board. Various media outlets have suggested that this may be illegal.

Kline still has a chance to prove that he stands for openness and accountability rather than backroom dealing: He can disclose the agenda of his private meetings, and he can explain why these topics weren't suited for public discussion in the first place.

Citizens on all sides of this issue have a vested interest in knowing how our government reaches its policy decisions. Please, Mr. Kline, let us know what you're up to in Topeka.