The Newsroom At 55 Park Place – Chapter 4 – Teacher Good American

The Newsroom At 55 Park Place

By Don Storch

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Books By Don Storch

The Newsroom At 55 Park Place
Snakes in the Swamp
If a Passive-Progressive Leads from behind he is a Double Oxymoron

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Dedication

            This book is dedicated to my Mom and Dad, mentors of an only child, with daily memories of loving gratefulness, Viola Pauline (Helmstatt) Storch (1910 – 1969) and George John Storch (1903-1969)

                                                                       And To:

Norman B. Tomlinson Jr

(1927-2017)

Chapter 4

       Teacher Good American

     After 12 days of investigation by the Hanover Park Regional Board of Education it was shown that, “Miss Le-Moyne Goodman is in every way a good American.” She was asked to return to her English teaching position.

            Nevertheless, she decided to hold to her plan to resign. 

            The Board was subsequently honored by the New Jersey Association for distinguished service to education.  The award recognized the Board’s defense of freedom to teach.

            In an editorial in the Daily Record on June 20, 1958, it said:

            “There is a close similarity between the feelings of the Hanover Park Regional HS Board of Education and the Daily Record in L’Affaire Le-Moyne Goodman and the famous Hiroshima Essays.

            “The board said it feels that the error lies in not presenting to the reader a discussion of the background and conditions under which they were written.

            “Board President John Hall said ‘It is our duty as educators to teach our students how to think by presenting all the facts of a problem and challenging their minds into molding free decisions – not to teach them what to think.’

            “In part, the Tuesday editorial in the Daily Record said, ‘A teacher who makes pupils think is indeed a good teacher, but better is a teacher who presents them with all the facts in order to come to a conclusion. . .’

            “Did Miss Goodman present Truman’s and Stimson’s views on the dropping of the A-bomb? Did she present the entire A-bomb picture completely?’

            “The board did a fine job in this situation but we must disagree completely with one of its finding.  It said that the publication of three particular essays in the ‘The Triad’ was not in itself a serious mistake.

            “We think it was a mistake, a serious one.  These essays went into print in a paper distributed to 14, 15 and 16-year-olds and undoubtedly was seen by their younger brothers and sisters. Any statement like, ‘I feel ashamed to call myself an American’ is bound to influence the young reader.

            “We agree with the board that Miss Goodman has made mistakes but is entitled to another chance.

            “At the Wednesday night meeting, the press was attacked and booed by some of those present for its handling of the situation.

            “Although the Daily Record did the best job in the matter, according to those displeased persons, we must say that as a whole the daily press carefully, accurately and extensively covered the story”

            As the reporter who disclosed this story and having covered it from beginning to end I believed, but did not report this opinion at the time, that Miss Goodman used ‘poor judgment’ which she admitted at the time.

            One weekend months later I was playing baseball for the Maplewood Maples in the semi-pro Essex County League in Maplewood NJ.

            In between innings a fan walked up to me, whispered in my ear, “The Maplewood Board of Education is going to hire Miss Goodman to teach English at Columbia High School.” He then disappeared into the stands.

            It was a Sunday and as soon as I got home from the game, I called the superintendent of schools in Maplewood.  I said to him that I had it on good authority that the Board was going to hire Miss Goodman at Columbia High School to teach English.

            He confirmed the tip and I had another exclusive.

            The next day we reported that Le-Moyne Goodman was going to be hired as an English teacher at Columbia High School.  Of course, we rehashed all the past controversy’s.

            She went on to have a very successful career at Columbia, well respected by her students and alumna of today.  She is now retired and the past is prologue, but will live on.

To Be Continued . . . 

 

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