Dr. McCrocklin when he was selected president. The investigation of the charges made above justifies our confidence.” Kellam said the regents are proud of McCrocklin’s being named to the HEW post and they look forward to his return to SWT next year. A resolution expressing “complete confidence” in McCrocklin was passed unanimously by Rassman, Kellam and fellow regents J. L. Huffines, Jr., Greenville; Clayton Heare, Amarillo; Dr. Jose San Martin, San Antonio; Mrs. Savannah Lockey, Troup; Bill Donnell, Marathon; and John H. Cronker, Jr., Houston. Absent was regent Ottis Lock, Lufkin. Afterwards, Rassman, asked by the Observer if he thought there were a similarity in the dissertation and thesis said “There is no question that they do deal with the same subject but Dr. McCrocklin is not guilty of plagiarism or any impropriety. . . . On behalf of the board I express complete confidence in the integrity and protessional qualification of Dr. McCrocklin.” During the meeting Rassman had left his seat at the conference table and walked over to an Observer reporter. He pulled out a well-marked copy of the issue in which the McCrocklin story had appeared ‘and pointed out that the issue was addressed to him, that he is a subscriber. “I’m an admirer of the Observer,” he said. “It’s unfortunate that these things [meaning such as the McCrocklin matter] happen. We just have to do the best we can. . . .” G.O., K.N. A Teacher Wins Vindication Austin Until Feb. 27, 1968, Henry Keith Sterzing was a social studies teacher at John Foster Dulles High School in Sugarland. His colleagues and the majority of his students liked him and agreed that he was an outstanding teacher. In his classroom, Sterzing used methods that the school board considered unusual to teach his students the meaning of history and civics. The flag of the Confederate states was on display in Sterzing’s classroom. When talking of himself Sterzing maintained he was a conservative; yet he belonged to the AFL-CIO-affiliated American Federation of Teachers, not the Texas State Teachers’ Assn. the teachers’ organization to which most state teachers belong. During the 1967 fall term Sterzing told his classes that he considered superpatriots harmful to this country; that he saw nothing wrong in a Negro marrying a white person \(saying this when asked by his students about the marriage of Secretary of State Dean Rusk’s daughter the classroom was the place to exchange ideas freely about the world, he says he believes that is what he was doing until fired by the board of the Fort Bend independent school district. When the board met last Feb. 27, they voted to fire Sterzing, effective that night. After the meeting instructions were phoned to the superintendent of the district that he was to notify Sterzing of the board’s action. The board would not allow Sterzing to return to the high school campus except to pick up what personal belongings he had in his classrOom. Officially, Sterzing was fired by the board for alleged insubordination to Lawrence Elkins, the assistant superintendent. When he learned of his firing on the morning of Feb. 28, Sterzing decided to appeal the decision. In April and May the board held three hearings for Sterzing. The testimony was recorded by a court reporter. The board re-affirmed its earlier decision, but in Elkins’ testimony, Sterzing’s lawyer raised doubts about just how, specifically, Sterzing had been insubordinate. .Elkins testified that he only assumed Sterzing had been insubor Sterzing appealed the decision of the board to the commissioner of the Texas Education Agency, Dr. J. W. Edgar. The tearing of the appeal took place last month in Austin. Sterzing and his attorney, Ben Levy of Houston, who was retained by the National Education Association, met with Dr. Edgar and representatives of the Fort Bend district Edward Mercer, the superintendent; Elkins; and John Heard, an attorney from Sugarland. LEVY BEGAN his defense of Sterzing by stating that Sterzing was fired without dile process and for no just Louise Stanford. reason. Part of the injustice of the dismissal, Levy said, was the fact that Sterzing was not able to defend himself before the board. Sterzing had no idea that he was considered for dismissal and the board did not give the teacher an honest chance to correct any deficiencies they thought he might have, said Levy. Heard, speaking for the school board, said that the question before the commissioner was moot. The school term had already ended and Sterzing was paid for the unfinished part of his contract. Heard stated that the board warned Sterzing in September of 1967 that he was to “teach positively” and avoid “controversial subjects” in his classroom discussions. Sterzing failed to follow that warning about his teaching, according to Heard, when he taught a six-day unit on race relations in early February. Levy replied that when Sterzing attended a board meeting in September, 1967, he was not warned to “teach positively” or avoid controversial subjects ATHENA MONTESSORI SCHOOL RED RIVER AT 41ST Opposite Hancock Center GR 6-9700 or GL 4-4239 Leo Nitch, Director in the classroom. Sterzing left the meeting with the board understanding that he could not teach affectively unless some controversial materials were discussed, Levy said. Sterzing believed that the board members knew controversy could not be avoided in civics classes, where current events are discussed. He also claims that the board gave no specific instructions of any kind about the methods used by him in the classroom. Both the board representatives and Sterzing agreed at the appeal hearing held in Austin that between September, 1967, and February, 1968, there were no other questions about Sterzing’s teaching methods or his conduct in school. In February, Sterzing began teaching the unit on race relations. In addition to reproductions of three magazine articles on race and discrimination, one of which was written by Dr. Benjamin Spock for Redbook, Sterzing ordered three films through the school system and used them, as the bases of class discussions. To conclude the study of race and prejudice, Sterzing made the following statement to his students: “All of you have known me since . . . the beginning of September, the beginning of school. . . . You formed some opinion of me through this time. You have some picture of what I am like. Now, I am still the same person . . . I haven’t changed a bit. But I am going to tell you something now, and when I tell you this, your picture of me, your image of what I am like, will change. . . . What I am going to say is simply this: My grandmother was a Negro.” September 20, 1968 9 MEETINGS THE THURSDAY CLUB of Dallas meets each the Downtown YMCA, 605 No. Ervay St., Dallas. Good discussion. You’re welcome. Informal, no dues. CENTRAL TEXAS ACLU luncheon meeting. We’re moving again. Spanish Village. 2nd Friday every month. From noon. All welcome. AUSTIN WOMEN FOR PEACE/WOMEN STRIKE FOR PEACE meet twice monthly. Call 477-1282 for more information. ITEMS for this feature cost, for the first entry, 7c a word, and for each subsequent entry, 5c a word. We must receive them one week before the date of the issue in which they are to be published.