DR. WALLACE: I'm 15 and considered a feminist. I firmly believe in equality for women in every facet of life. That's why I'm upset at your male-only stance on such things as boys' football, basketball, baseball and wrestling. I'm not one of these separate-but-equal types. I believe the best should prevail, be they male or female.
Because of your macho attitude, I didn't put much faith in your advice, but all that changed when I realized you also are a champion for all types of animals, including household pets and wild animals. I was especially touched by your column on the lowly opossum and the benefits it provides for humans. I'm also impressed that you encourage families to have a pet and to find it at their local animal shelter.
So, after a lot of soul-searching, I've decided that you really aren't a male chauvinist after all. It's just that you are a bit misguided when it comes to women and athletics. — Sarah, Oklahoma City, Okla.
SARAH: I'm glad you had a change of heart. I've never considered myself to be macho or a male chauvinist. I will admit that some girls are capable of possessing the skills to participate equally or even better than boys in athletics. But if girls are permitted to play on boys' teams it would open the door for boys to play on girls' teams and, that dear Sarah, would pretty much end a wonderful and competitive girls' athletic program.
But you must remember that I'm not saying this as a columnist, but as a former high school varsity head basketball coach, and coaches of boys' athletic teams often are stubborn, rigid, and extremely slow in accepting change. It's called "old school"
THE PRINCIPAL'S ANSWER WAS NO
DR. WALLACE: Several students and I who attend the same church asked our principal if we could start the school day by reading a verse from the Bible over the intercom before the daily announcements. The answer was no. When we asked him why, he said, "Because I said so."
With all the bad things in the world, why would our principal stop us from doing something good? — Ted, Houston, Tex.
TED: You certainly deserve a more complete answer. Your principal should have talked to you about the separation of church and state, one of the founding principles of our country. This concept is not anti-religion; it was established by deeply religious people who fled to these shores to avoid persecution for their beliefs and to have the right to worship as they pleased.
That means there is no state or "official" religion in this country, and no one faith should have a public forum — including the forum of a school intercom — for its views. Your principal is obligated to protect the rights of those whose religious beliefs differ from yours.
However, many public schools permit students to have religious meetings before or after school. You might see if this is an acceptable alternative.
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.