Saturday, January 17, 2009

Florida school ordered to stop christianist activities

The Santa Rosa School District in Milton, Florida, has been attempting to make little Christians out of its students and a federal judge has ordered them to stop.

After school officials admitted the allegations in a suit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, U.S. District Court Judge Casey Rodgers shut their christianist efforts down.

On December 15, 2008, the School Board, the superintendent and the Pace High School principal filed an "Admission of Liability" with the court regarding districtwide constitutional violations.

These violations included the following:

* Elementary graduations and middle school Christmas concerts held at churches.

* Teachers and staff at Pace High School preaching about "Judgment Day with the Lord."

* Teachers and staff offering Bible readings and biblical interpretations during student meetings.

The district has also offered prayer at school events, including graduation ceremonies.

The injunction by the court bans the School District Board and its employees from:

* Promoting, advancing, aiding, facilitating, endorsing, or causing religious prayers or devotionals during school-sponsored events.

* Planning, organizing, financing, promoting or otherwise sponsoring religious baccalaureate services at all schools within the Santa Rosa School District, including at Pace High School.

* Holding school-sponsored events at religious venues when alternate venues are reasonably available.

* Permitting school officials to promote their personal religious beliefs and proselytize students in class or during school-sponsored events and activities.

* Otherwise unconstitutionally endorsing or coercing religion.

It's a shame that it takes legal action to force a public school district to obey the law and follow the Constitution of the United States, which they are chartered to teach.

But this is the kind of thing that happens when christianists consist of a majority in a community or on a school board, or a government committee, or a state legislature.

And for those of you who were around when the Christian Coalition was founded, this is exactly what was promised (or threatened) by the christianist wingnuts such as Pat Robertson who were involved at the time: an internal attack on our institutions in order to institute christianist religion in the various religious, educational and governmental agencies of our country.

Obviously, the officials of the Santa Rosa School District not only knew what was going on in the district, but gave their explicit approval. They should be removed from their positions for they have failed in their obligation to their students by illegally promoting a particular religion!

What's even more frightening is that it is very likely this kind of thing is being replicated in thousands of school districts around the country.

A complete report on this situation here.

The Santa Rosa School District site here.

1 comment:

Bob Poris said...

Shameful!!!! We are a diverse nation and must remain so. The public schools must not become a substitute for the church etc of one’s choice. Religion belongs within the family and the mind of each individual. If you want to see how a state religion works, look at any nation with an official religion! The Taliban can be the role model for any religion.

opinions powered by