State BOE President Responds to Henthorn’s Choice
Petition Drive Seeks Henthorn’s Resignation
BY MILES LAYTON - Staff Writer, Tyler Star News
SISTERSVILLE State Board of Education President Michael Green has issued a statement regarding actions taken by Tyler Board of Education President Bonnie Henthorn.
Henthorn decided to take her two children out of Tyler County schools in December so as to homeschool them.
Henthorn blamed the state policies and criticized education leadership and mentioned Green when she announced her decision at a recent Tyler BOE meeting.
After the state Board of Education saw the Tyler Star News' article, Green offered this comment via email through BOE Spokeswoman Kristin Anderson.
"The separation of church and state is a well-established constitutional tenant," he said. "The West Virginia Board of Education respects this distinction while recognizing it is the role, right, and responsibility of a parent to choose the educational setting that best serves his or her child."
Henthorn responded to Green's comment.
"Speaking as a parent, I recognize the separation of church and state and understand those limits upon public school," she said. "That is but one of the reasons that I have chosen a different path for my children that includes a more Christian worldview along with traditional academics as contrasted to current education reforms. As Board President Green has stated, this is my role as a parent to choose. My work on the board consists of representing everyone in Tyler County, not just students and staff, as we all have a stake in education. I have said many times that if your kids are in public school (rather than a Christian school), they should be in Tyler County because of the dedicated and caring teachers and staff."
The Tyler Board of Education met Tuesday for its regularly scheduled board meeting after the Tyler Star News' press deadline. The newspaper will cover any issues, related or otherwise, in the Jan. 20 edition.
Henthorn said she does not plan to resign from the board and still supports teachers, students and staff.
There is a petition drive calling for Henthorn to resign. According to the petition drive's website generated last week, the group issues this letter to the community:
"The "President" of the Tyler County, WV Board of Education has decided her children should only learn about Christianity and creationism and know nothing about evolution, science, or other world religions. That is her choice to make; however, that choice shows her lack of commitment to the children of Tyler County and the residents she serves. Tyler County Schools have always been a shining star in education for the State of West Virginia and the Ohio Valley. If this school system is not "fit" to prepare her children for higher education or life in general, then she is not fit to lead that system or receive money from the county. She should resign immediately."
The petition can be found at: change.org/p/tyler-county-board-of-education-resignation-of-bonnie-henthorn-from-the-tyler-county-board-of-education?recruiter=468137454&utm-source=share-for-starters&utm-medium=copy
Link Henthorn has her own support page on social media which can be found at m.facebook.com/supportbonniehenthorn/