Friday, March 7, 2008

Greene County Schools Break The Law And Defy Constitution

From a letter to the editor in the Hattiesburg American:

I am a freshman at Greene County High School, and I am writing to express my concerns on several assemblies that we have had this year.

It is understood that we live in a region of the country called the "Bible Belt," and in this region Christianity does play a significant role in the lives and the views of many people. I not only understand this, but I also respect it.

This school year we have had three assemblies where the speaker was a religious figure. The first person was a local preacher. During this assembly he preached to us on the importance of making the right choices and accepting Jesus as our savior.

The next person was a biker-turned-preacher from the Gulf Coast. His program was focused on making the right choices. He didn't preach to us, but he did mention that turning to Christianity helped him turn his life around.

The other speaker was a preacher from Louisiana. He preached on the importance of living in a Christ-like manner.

These assemblies were all concluded in prayer. We were never given the option to not attend.

I respect all of these people and their commitment to the Christian religion just as much as I respect the Constitution and rights given to us by this document. This time, however, the two are at odds with each other.

The Establishment Clause of the Constitution has been interpreted in many court cases as a wall of separation between church and state. Moreover, it states clearly in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 that no school official shall mandate or organize religious ceremonies.

I have no problem with the assemblies themselves, but public schools are not the place to preach a religion. The Constitution is the reason that this country hasn't crumbled into a chaotic state. Now is not the time to overlook this important document. These assemblies, no matter how good of a message they bear, are still technically illegal.

Wesley Crawford

First of all the young man is highly articulate and has a bright future in front of him. Not only because he is such an obviously bright kid, but because he has already demonstrated the kind of courage and all-out ballsyness that most people never develop in a lifetime.

These assemblies really are an outrage. But I work in Greene County quite a bit and I would be shocked if anything comes of this other than ostracism of the young man who wrote the letter.

This was inexcusable and an abuse of the school’s authority. It was blatantly illegal and unconstitutional. I hope the young man and his family suffer no repercussions, but judging from past cases like this, that may be too much to hope for.


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Micah said...

Right, this should not be happening. By bringing these speakers in, the public school endorses preaching.

Supreme Court cases are clear that this shouldn't be happening.

BEAST said...

These Christian morons already have tax free grants to build their opulent is not as if they do not have anywhere else to spread their cultural disease......why can't they just freaking leave the schools alone?