Skip to comments."Government-sponsored hostility toward religion”
Posted on 05/02/2007 4:11:10 AM PDT by don-o
A couple doors down the hall from Mr. Johnson's classroom at Westview High School in Rancho Peñasquitos, a suburb of San Diego, a teacher has a picture of the grunge rock band Nirvana on her door. Other teachers have slogans from sports celebrities and cartoon characters. Teacher Brad Johnson has decorated his assigned homeroom with pictures of families and nature, and banners relating to American history, such as God Bless America.
That last item, the school district told Johnson in January of this year, is banned and must be removed from the classroom. Why? Because the Poway Unified School District is under the impression that any reference to "Creator," "Creation," or "God" is prohibited by law.
The following phrases struck the school board as objectionable: In God We Trust, the official motto of the United States; One Nation Under God, from the Pledge of Allegiance; God Bless America, a patriotic song considered to be the unofficial national anthem of the United States; God Shed His Grace On Thee, a line from America the Beautiful; and All Men Are Created Equal, They Are Endowed By Their Creator, an excerpt from the preamble to the Declaration of Independence.
The Thomas More Law Center announced on May 1 that it has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the Poway School District, claiming that school officials violated Johnsons constitutional rights.
Cleansing our nations classrooms of our religious heritage and history advances no legitimate educational purpose, commented Richard Thompson, chief counsel for the Law Center. In fact, such actions undermine the primary purpose of public education: to prepare students for citizenship in our republic.
No one seems to know why the school district has chosen now to suppress historic and patriotic references to God that Mr. Johnson has displayed in his assigned homeroom, a classroom where he teaches for the entire day.
Johnson points out that seven different principals, approximately 4,000 students in grades 9 - 12, and 1,000 parents have seen these banners in his classroom since 1982 with never a single complaint.
These are not the Ten Commandments or Bible texts, said Robert Muise, the Law Center attorney handling the case. "These are lines from songs, mottoes, and slogans familiar to all of us as part of our history and patriotic heritage.
"It is the responsibility of all public school teachers, including Mr. Johnson, to educate students regarding our nations history and its founding. Mr. Johnsons educational banners serve that purpose.
Thomas More Center attorneys argue that the school district, by banning historic references to "God" and "Creator," is conveying "a government-sponsored message of disapproval of and hostility toward religion in violation of the United States and California constitutions.
The lawsuit asks the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California to overturn the school district's speech restriction so that Johnson can continue to display his patriotic and historic banners, as he has for the past 25 years.
Muise quoted the US Supreme Court decision in Tinker v. Des Moines to make his point: "Neither teachers nor students shed their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse door."
Well somebody had to save the TOE!!!!!
“The Thomas More Law Center announced on May 1 that it has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the Poway School District, claiming that school officials violated Johnsons constitutional rights.”
This PC BS is out of control...I hope he wins.
This was written by Freeper, Mrs Don-o. Could you ping your list please? Leave a comment and maybe they will print more of her writing.
I got it! How bout klintoon “servicing” Brawny Frawnk on the Whithouse lawn, while hillary and chelsea look on? Doesn’t that sound “with it”?
My boss got really mad and made me take it down.
Sure, but it’s ok to idolize Nirvana and their drug use.
Hostility toward ONE religion. IF this had been about the machete-wielders, the administrators would have promoted it.
Make them empty their pockets, and surrender all that American money with that "illegal" motto on it. I'll take it off their hands just so they don't have to acknowledge even the word "God".
I posted a comment. It didn’t have any cuss words in it. I hope it will be posted soon.
I wonder if the reporter understood the irony of leading off with a teacher having a poster of the band “Nirvana”, given that Nirvana is a religious concept of heaven in Budhism, which makes it as much of a religious message as “In God We Trust”.
The author also could have noted that the actual National Anthem has the words “In God is our Trust”, just not in the part generally known to the population.
That would be a great comment to add at the page, Charles!
I already posted a comment that we had to stand up for and get more vocal about our rights, both to defend our own rights and to be a witness to the world that our religion actually matters to us.
If you would like to be notified of her future articles, please send me a Freepmail.
I will not be using this list again.
Schools have an agenda and it isn’t reading and writing. No wonder teachers are leaving in droves.
FreeRepublic moral absolutes keyword search
[ Add keyword moral absolutes to flag FR articles to this ping list ]
Ping me when she writes more articles!
Excellent article with a fair-minded presentation of the facts. Thanks for the ping!
Too weird for words...
Good article, you can add me to your list!
Good article - thanks for pinging me here! :)
don-o, I'm wondering if Mrs. don-o noticed any differences between the High School and the elementary school level on this?
I think she picked up the story from the Thomas More Center which is filing the suit. Do the elementary teachers decorate their doors?
I'll have to pay more attention to what is displayed inside the classrooms.
I forgot to add that our school has no problem saying “One Nation Under God” every single day so this must only be at high school.
Kudos to Mrs. Don-O! Thank you for the ping!
Thanks for the ping, don-o. Deep bow to the Mrs!!
Her students their parents loved her.
Furthermore, mere schools are not endowed with legal or legislative power to make determinations about citizenship or anyone's legal or theological status in relation to imagined religious establishment. They should never have been imagined to be part of "the state" or government in that sense. Anything said, spoken, or posted in writing in a public school is debatable within the context of private free speech and not a government edict commanding assent. So anyone saying or writing a proposition about God or belief in God in a public school is not a legislative act. It does not compel assent nor membership in a denominational church. Therefore, it is not and could not possibly be "an establishment of religion."
The liberal wacko NEA members of this school district are bananas. A teacher is a private citizen hired to function as a teacher of the students who are also private citizens. They are not government officials wielding legislative authority to compel assent to statist policies. Everyone is free to walk out the door or say in response, "I disagree with you." These cases confuse the merely procedural authority and bureaucratic role of public school teachers and administrators with that of government legislative power. There is no relation between the two.
In order to prevent further confusion of liberal secular humanists, perhaps we need more definitive clarification from SCOTUS about the merely private and voluntary nature of educational affiliation, along with the entirely non-legislative status of teachers and school officials so that ALL of their statements are never confused with legal establishment or statist authority which compels assent.