Skip to comments.Bibles banned on playgrounds: Legal group challenges restriction on student activity at recess
Posted on 05/12/2005 1:56:58 AM PDT by Stoat
| BRAVE NEW SCHOOLS
Legal group challenges restriction on student activity during recess
Posted: May 12, 2005
1:00 a.m. Eastern
An elemenatary school principal who barred students from reading the Bible during recess after a complaint from parents is violating the Constitution, according to a public-interest law firm challenging his actions.
In a letter to the Knox County School District in Tennesee, the Alliance Defense Fund declared the principal of Karns Elementary School is on "shaky constitutional ground."
| "The Constitution does not prohibit Bibles during recess; it prohibits the wholesale banning of Bibles during recess," said Charles Pope, the ADF-allied attorney who wrote the letter to the district.
"A school official cannot tell a student that he can't bring his Bible to school or study it with friends during non-classroom time," Pope stated.
According to ADF, 10-year-old student Luke Whitson used his regularly scheduled recess time to read the Bible with a few friends on his school's playground. After receiving a complaint from a parent, the principal reportedly ordered the students to stop their activity, put their Bibles away and cease from bringing them to school.
"There are no 'age discrimination' allowances in the First Amendment of the Constitution," said ADF Senior Counsel Joseph Infranco. "The law protects these students the same as it protects all students."
Infranco said children "have rights of speech and association during their non-instructional time, and the school may not curtail those rights because of their age."
Whitson's parents sought legal assistance from Pope, who contends "the law as it pertains to this situation is well settled."
"Students may have religious discussions and Bible study during non-instructional time," he explained in his letter. "The school district should immediately issue a statement addressing the unconstitutional actions and policy and alerting all personnel to permit Luke and other similarly situated students to exercise their constitutional rights."
I agree completely, although full State and Federal support of Charter schools would make such a boycott far easier for law-abiding parents who wish to do the right thing for their children yet do not wish to be jailed for failing to send their children to school. Government schools will be made better by competition from private and charter schools, and charter schools will be best supported when given the same State benefits and recognition as Government schools.
There is a great deal of work that remains to be done.
When the teachers get laid off, the freedom of religion would return quickly.
Very true. Hopefully parents will be given options that will prevent such drastic measures, however.
It's sad to see how much things have changed at this school in the last twenty years. When I was in fifth grade at this school, the Gideons came and handed out little red New Testaments during class time. Now, you can't read the Bible on your own time? And people wonder why the Baptist school 2 miles down the road has to turn people away and has a waiting list for enrollment.
Oh, and in case anyone feels the need to let the principal know their feelings, her name is Cathy Summa. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
I know you're in Middle Tennessee (I think), but do you have a Tennessee ping list? Thought this might warrant a ping or two.
Yes, THEY have been busy for YEARS! Perfect example of incrementalism.
Incrementalism, in·cre·men·tal·ism, Social or political gradualism.
Congressional Record--Appendix, pp. A34-A35
January 10, 1963
Current Communist Goals
17. Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers' associations. Put the party line in textbooks.
26. Present homosexuality, degeneracy and promiscuity as "normal, natural, healthy."
29. Discredit the American Constitution by calling it inadequate, old-fashioned, out of step with modern needs, a hindrance to cooperation between nations on a worldwide basis.
30. Discredit the American Founding Fathers. Present them as selfish aristocrats who had no concern for the "common man."
31. Belittle all forms of American culture and discourage the teaching of American history on the ground that it was only a minor part of the "big picture." Give more emphasis to Russian history since the Communists took over.
To quote or paraphrase Ann Coulter, Liberals hate all religions except Islam.