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Girl sues to put God on yearbook
QUAD-CITY TIMES ^ | Apr 16 2002 | Ann McGlynn

Posted on 05/06/2002 4:17:35 PM PDT by Michael2001

A 12-year-old Rock Island girl will be in federal court today to prevent her grade school from printing her winning yearbook cover design without the words she wanted: “God Bless America.”

The original, winning entry by Marissa De La Rosa included that phrase, but the school made her erase those words and replace them with “Proud to be

an American” after being told she had won, according to a lawsuit.

Marissa and

her father, Joseph De La Rosa, filed the suit in U.S. District Court, Rock Island, against the Rock Island-Milan School District, Ridgewood Elementary School Principal John Frieden and an unnamed school nurse.

She is asking today for a temporary restraining order to prevent the school from printing the yearbook.

“I want the school to publish my original design with ‘God Bless America’ in it instead,” Marissa, who attends sixth grade, said in a statement filed with the lawsuit. “I do not think it was right for the school to make me change my design.”

The Quad-City Times was unable to contact Marissa, her father or their attorney for comment Monday.

An attorney for the school system, in letters to Marissa’s attorney filed along with the lawsuit, said he would “vigorously defend the district.”

Allowing “God Bless America” on the cover of a public school yearbook would be “tantamount to the state sponsorship of religion, which is forbidden,” Eric Schwarz wrote in the letters. In addition, one student does not have the right to dictate what is to be placed on a yearbook cover that would be distributed to all students, he wrote.

The school district, he said, would agree to substitute another student’s work on the yearbook cover if Marissa does not want the modified version printed.

Marissa’s teacher announced during the week of April 1 that the school was holding a contest to see which student could come up with the best design for the yearbook, according to the lawsuit.

Her design included the slogan made popular by the Irving Berlin song, “God Bless America,” court documents state. “Marissa chose the slogan because she felt it in her heart,” the court papers continue.

It is believed the entries were judged by teachers. Marissa’s was selected as the school-wide winner.

Marissa and her father, Joseph De La Rosa, were in the school office April 4, waiting to see Principal John Frieden, court documents state. Marissa was going to be gone from school for a week to attend her sister’s wedding in Florida, and her father wanted to talk with the principal about the absence. The school secretary then told Marissa her design had won the contest.

“But then she told me that I would have to erase the slogan, ‘God Bless America,’ and replace it with the slogan, ‘Proud to be an American,’ ” according to court papers.

De La Rosa “immediately objected,” the lawsuit states. A few minutes later, the school nurse came and asked Marissa if she could follow her into another room. The nurse told her to change the phrase, according to court papers.

“I did not answer the nurse, but I did just what I was told. I believed that I had to, because the school nurse told me to do it,” Marissa said in her sworn statement. “Besides, I was new at the school, and I did not know the nurse very well, and she was an adult. I try to do what I am told to do by adults when I am at school.”

De La Rosa said he requested copies of his daughter’s original design and the changed design before leaving the school. The nurse and the secretary, he said in a statement, said they personally agreed with him, “but that because they were a public school, they could not have a cover that had the world ‘God’ on it.”


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: catholiclist; christianlist; sasu
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1 posted on 05/06/2002 4:17:36 PM PDT by Michael2001
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To: Michael2001
Allowing “God Bless America” on the cover of a public school yearbook would be “tantamount to the state sponsorship of religion, which is forbidden,” Eric Schwarz wrote in the letters.

Mr. Schwartz, state sponsored religion implies that the state gains financial controls of a particular church, and the church is exempt from certain taxes that all other churches must pay. This is clearly not the case.

2 posted on 05/06/2002 4:20:36 PM PDT by Hodar
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To: Hodar,CincinnatiKid ,jd792 ,dixie sass,chesty puller,antivenom,muggs ,Grendelgrey ,GRRRRR ,petron
Allowing “God Bless America” on the cover of a public school yearbook would be “tantamount to the state sponsorship of religion, which is forbidden,” Eric Schwarz wrote in the letters.

BULLSHAT COMMUNISTIC BASTAGES

3 posted on 05/06/2002 4:24:00 PM PDT by ATOMIC_PUNK
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To: Michael2001
A little girl and God.... What a combo...."You go Girl"!
4 posted on 05/06/2002 4:24:56 PM PDT by CyberCowboy777
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To: Michael2001
If they won't let her use "God Bless America," I can see why she would not want to use "Proud To Be An American."

How can you be proud of this PC BS? Time to get back to the basics America!!!

5 posted on 05/06/2002 4:25:24 PM PDT by upchuck
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To: Michael2001
Excellent case! ;)
6 posted on 05/06/2002 4:25:40 PM PDT by ned
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To: Michael2001
Since this country's foundation was undeniably based on Judeo-Christian beliefs and heritage, if you take out the "God" from God bless America, then I am ashamed, not proud to be American.

I am an atheist, actually, but the country is based on God, blessing America. Stupid commies.

I am proud that we still produce kids like this, however.

Fight on!

7 posted on 05/06/2002 4:26:27 PM PDT by the gillman@blacklagoon.com
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To: Michael2001
Why is the ACLU jealous of Nativity Scenes? Because there is not one virgin nor three wise men throughout that whole organization.
8 posted on 05/06/2002 4:26:38 PM PDT by Commander8
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To: Commander8
lol
9 posted on 05/06/2002 4:28:12 PM PDT by CyberCowboy777
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To: Michael2001
Allowing “God Bless America” on the cover of a public school yearbook would be “tantamount to the state sponsorship of religion, which is forbidden,” Eric Schwarz wrote in the letters.

But establishing the religion of Sodom and Gomorrah is fine. Some folks want God to curse their country.

10 posted on 05/06/2002 4:28:50 PM PDT by A. Pole
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To: Michael2001
Allowing “God Bless America” on the cover of a public school yearbook would be “tantamount to the state sponsorship of religion, which is forbidden,” Eric Schwarz wrote in the letters.

Really, Mr. Schwarz? Which one? Which religion would this be "tantamount" to supporting? Name it.

11 posted on 05/06/2002 4:31:12 PM PDT by Jay W
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To: Michael2001
It is sad that the school administration probably felt they would be subject to lawsuits from the ACLU or some other nutjob liberal orgtanization if they had actually kept the design as it was originally drawn.

How ironic, and very funny!

12 posted on 05/06/2002 4:31:43 PM PDT by SaveTheChief
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To: Commander8
hehe. good one. I'll have to remember that.
13 posted on 05/06/2002 4:31:53 PM PDT by Texas_Jarhead
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To: Michael2001
Pagan religions posing as pseudo-science are practiced daily in the public schools. Where 'faith' is taught as fact is as least honestly portrayed in society as a church. Public schools of today are just disingenuous churches 'preaching' disingenuous science. Where there is NOT 100% fact, there is 'faith'.
14 posted on 05/06/2002 4:31:56 PM PDT by d14truth
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To: Commander8
haha
15 posted on 05/06/2002 4:34:30 PM PDT by Michael2001
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To: Michael2001
"De La Rosa “immediately objected,” the lawsuit states. A few minutes later, the school nurse came and asked Marissa if she could follow her into another room. The nurse told her to change the phrase, according to court papers.

“I did not answer the nurse, but I did just what I was told. I believed that I had to, because the school nurse told me to do it,” Marissa said in her sworn statement. “Besides, I was new at the school, and I did not know the nurse very well, and she was an adult. I try to do what I am told to do by adults when I am at school.”

"De La Rosa said he requested copies of his daughter’s original design and the changed design before leaving the school. The nurse and the secretary, he said in a statement, said they personally agreed with him, “but that because they were a public school, they could not have a cover that had the world ‘God’ on it.”"

This is one for Jay Sekulow and the ACLJ!

16 posted on 05/06/2002 4:36:05 PM PDT by d14truth
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To: d14truth
And if the ACLJ wins this little battle, what exactly has been accomplished?
17 posted on 05/06/2002 4:37:33 PM PDT by Diverdogz
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To: Michael2001
American Center for Law and Justice(ACLJ)
18 posted on 05/06/2002 5:02:31 PM PDT by d14truth
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To: Diverdogz
"And if the ACLJ wins this little battle, what exactly has been accomplished?"

If 'right minded people' don't start 'winning' little battles, they will never get around to fighting BIG ones, IMHO.

I am sick and tired of 'pagan' religions being taught in public schools under the guise of multi-culturalism.

19 posted on 05/06/2002 5:09:39 PM PDT by d14truth
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To: Jay W
Which religion would this be "tantamount" to supporting? Name it.

Deism.

20 posted on 05/06/2002 5:14:56 PM PDT by luvbach1
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To: Michael2001
"In God We Trust" is our national motto. This is not some Christian, right wing, political slogan. We adopted this motto because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture. If Stars and Stripes offend you, or you don't like Uncle Sam, then you should seriously consider a move to another part of this planet. We are happy with our culture and have no desire to change, and we really don't care how you did things where you came from.

This is OUR COUNTRY, our land, and our lifestyle. Our First Amendment gives every citizen the right to express his opinion and we will allow you every opportunity to do so. But, once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about our flag, our pledge, our national motto, or our way of life, I highly encourage you to take advantage of one other great American freedom, THE RIGHT TO LEAVE.

21 posted on 05/06/2002 5:17:03 PM PDT by Mixer
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To: Michael2001
Reply #21 is part of an article that I post here frequently. The part that I posted fits this thread perfectly.
If you (or anyone else) want the entire article I will be happy to Freep Mail it or Post it here.
22 posted on 05/06/2002 5:19:01 PM PDT by Mixer
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To: luvbach1;*SASU; JMJ333; Tourist Guy; EODGUY; abandon; Khepera; Dakmar; RichInOC; RebelDawg...
In God we trust is on our money
God bless America is in our song

Humanist garbage cannot dictate free speech or freedom to practice religion.

23 posted on 05/06/2002 5:21:51 PM PDT by Khepera
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Comment #24 Removed by Moderator

To: luvbach1
Deism

Doesn't the word "God" also "support" Christianity, Catholicism, Judaism, Islam, etc? I always thought it couldn't support just one religion... Then again I don't get into these discussions much and don't really know. Just my $.02.

25 posted on 05/06/2002 5:29:42 PM PDT by scripter
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To: Michael2001
Saying the word God or printing the word God is not establishing a religion. The first amendment says that congress shall make no law establishing a religion or prohibiting the free excercise thereof; this 12-year-old girl is not Congress and she is not establishing a particular religion. She is giving an opinion in which she has a right too. I'm a student but I can sure as hell teach a few adults in that school about our basic rights. What a bunch of losers.
26 posted on 05/06/2002 5:32:37 PM PDT by Emmanual_Goldstein16
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To: Michael2001
Allowing “God Bless America” on the cover of a public school yearbook would be “tantamount to the state sponsorship of religion, which is forbidden,” Eric Schwarz wrote in the letters.

Why can't these intellectual giants simply post the artwork as it originally appears, and write a tiny disclaimer on the bottom of the cover, or inside the book? Why must they destroy every view of America that does not fall in line with their insane and impossible vision?

27 posted on 05/06/2002 5:40:51 PM PDT by Teacher317
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To: infowars
"A lot of children are told to read Harry Potter Whichcraft books aloud in school."

Yeah, and they don't know which witch is which. {;~)

28 posted on 05/06/2002 5:45:55 PM PDT by d14truth
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To: Diverdogz
Why not go to their website and see their reasoning behind it? Maybe we should sit back and let an immoral society have it's rule over us (or in your case, them).
29 posted on 05/06/2002 5:46:24 PM PDT by RedBloodedAmerican
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To: Emmanual_Goldstein16
A Patriotic Right to Say 'God' in the Classroom

From the 'Read the Letter' link---

"Additionally, to date the Supreme Court has never held that the expression of patriotic sentiments, such as "God Bless America" slogans or recitation of the pledge or the national motto, on public school grounds is subject to special restriction because those sentiments may be couched in common terms used by people of faith. And, in fact, one United States Court of Appeals, outside of the realm of expression of patriotic sentiment and inside the arena of religious observances and celebrations, has held that the Constitution is not violated by the performance of Christmas carols, even with religious content."
********
Time to stop being 'cowed' by the priests and priestesses of the 'religion of the left--Mother Earth', to the exclusion of 'Our Father-God' .

30 posted on 05/06/2002 5:56:20 PM PDT by d14truth
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To: Diverdogz
Actually, a great deal will have been accomplished. It will have taught the school district a lesson. It will be a lesson for many other school districts that believe as this one does. And it will encourage many people who have been demoralized by the ACLU, encouraging them to stand up for their rights.

I am told that the great bus boycott in Alabama was cause by a black woman whose feet were tired. I am told that Communism began to crumble in Eastern Europe because of an electrician in a shipyard. On the other hand, prayer in schools was outlawed because of one very nutty and determined atheist.

What was your question?

31 posted on 05/06/2002 6:00:20 PM PDT by moneyrunner
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To: Teacher317
"...Ridgewood Elementary School Principal John Frieden and an unnamed school nurse."

They must not have received the ACLJ letter from the State Superintendent of Schools. And how cruel, a 'nurse' saying to 'strike' God.

32 posted on 05/06/2002 6:02:10 PM PDT by d14truth
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To: Emmanual_Goldstein16
Go get 'em, jedinight, and may 'The Force'(I bet it's God) be with you.
33 posted on 05/06/2002 6:07:15 PM PDT by d14truth
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To: Mixer
I highly encourage you to take advantage of one other great American freedom, THE RIGHT TO LEAVE.

I sympatise with your feelings but I have to disapoint you. There is no free land on the Earth left. If you want to MOVE to another country, you need to apply for the permanent visa (what might be very hard) or you will enter as a tourist and stay there illegally (what might not so good).

You better try to keep your country in good shape and yes to be blessed by God.

34 posted on 05/06/2002 6:15:05 PM PDT by A. Pole
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To: scripter
She needs to employ lawyer tactics, and change the verbiage with a disclaimer in fine print -

"God bless America - this message does not reflect the desires of any particular religion and is not an endorsement of any particular religion nor does it encourage the reader to partake in any religious activities despite the possibility of eternal damnation."

35 posted on 05/06/2002 6:31:09 PM PDT by roadcat
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To: A. Pole
I sympatise with your feelings but I have to disapoint you. There is no free land on the Earth left

A)I am not the author of the article I was merely quoting it.
B)I don't know about you but, when I sit on my deck drinking a beer and enjoying the summer day I feel pretty damn free.

36 posted on 05/06/2002 6:41:18 PM PDT by Mixer
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To: Mixer
I don't know about you but, when I sit on my deck drinking a beer and enjoying the summer day I feel pretty damn free.

Unfortunately now I cannot enjoy this freedom since I have a hayfever and I need to stay indoors.

37 posted on 05/06/2002 6:56:07 PM PDT by A. Pole
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To: ATOMIC_PUNK
And FARRGIN ICEHOLES to boot!
38 posted on 05/06/2002 8:27:38 PM PDT by EODGUY
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To: roadcat
Love your disclaimer.
39 posted on 05/06/2002 8:39:14 PM PDT by Rocky
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To: dansangel
(((PING)))
40 posted on 05/07/2002 1:14:46 AM PDT by .45MAN
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To: Michael2001
Saying that "God Bless America" amounts to an establishment of religion is indeed ridiculous. On the other hand, why should the courts force the school to use this girl's design? Wrongheaded or not, isn't it the school's administration that has the ultimate authority over this yearbook?
41 posted on 05/07/2002 1:21:35 AM PDT by Polonius
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To: Polonius
"Wrongheaded or not, isn't it the school's administration that has the ultimate authority over this yearbook?"

This is the same 'basic' issue as the WTC sculpture. The actual photo/entry as submitted, or a PC version that satisfies the political 'AGENDA'. The 'original entry' was chosen as the contest winner; however, a later determination of its UN-PCness necessitates that the 'winner' modify the 'winner' or become a loser.(So much for the school 'self-esteem' thing)

In the WTC sculpture 'flap', over 405,000 people signed an online petition to preserve the 'TRUTH'.

IMHO, We, the people, have the final say over school yearbooks---Will we say anything?

42 posted on 05/07/2002 2:29:14 AM PDT by d14truth
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To: roadcat

43 posted on 05/07/2002 2:35:04 AM PDT by d14truth
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To: d14truth
I fully agree that it's PC stupidity, but on what grounds would a federal court force the school to print the original design? I can certainly understand contacting the school to voice disagreement with the decision, but it's their yearbook and their call. I just can't see why the federal courts would have a say.

Judicial activism is no less wrong when it serves conservative causes. This girl learned a sad lesson about the state of modern public schools, but her rights weren't violated.

44 posted on 05/07/2002 2:49:40 AM PDT by Polonius
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To: Michael2001;Catholic_List;Christian_List;patent
I pray (that IS still allowable in this country-right?!) that this girl WINS!
45 posted on 05/07/2002 3:12:22 AM PDT by TaRaRaBoomDeAyGoreLostToday!
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To: Polonius
I agree with you. But, unless and until, the ACLU stops with their judicial activism re 1st Amendment rights, it is necessary for us to stand in the same venue fighting for ours. The 'wrong' is that the school(more likely someone at the school) finds something personally objectionable to 'God Bless America'.

They say my God doesn't belong in their schools. I say their gods don't belong in mine. The 1st Amendment says, ALL gods allowed, none taught. Much learned.

46 posted on 05/07/2002 3:13:09 AM PDT by d14truth
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To: infowars
A lot of children are told to read Harry Potter Whichcraft books aloud in school

Children know Harry Potter is supernatural fiction.

47 posted on 05/07/2002 3:36:24 AM PDT by ASA Vet
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To: Michael2001
Then how does 'In God We Trust' still grace our currency, and the ten commandments stay on the wall at the Suprere Court ??


BUMP

48 posted on 05/07/2002 3:50:56 AM PDT by tm22721
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To: the gillman@blacklagoon.com
Thank you for an incredibly reasonable reply.

God Save America (Please)

49 posted on 05/07/2002 6:02:25 AM PDT by John O
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To: Michael2001;khepera;grandmom;erizona
Allowing “God Bless America” on the cover of a public school yearbook would be “tantamount to the state sponsorship of religion, which is forbidden,” Eric Schwarz wrote in the letters. In addition, one student does not have the right to dictate what is to be placed on a yearbook cover that would be distributed to all students, he wrote.

Our country was built on Godly principles, she won a contest with a design. What is the real issue here? NOTHING... except liberal people who want to demoralize America by erasing God from everything! This was not a design that was drawn by the school, it was drawn by a student. She does not represent the schools views. There is no issue of the alleged seperation of church and state, which is pure garbage in the first place!

50 posted on 05/07/2002 6:10:17 AM PDT by wwjdn
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