Faithandthelaw's Blog

The law as it relates to Christians and their free exercise of religion

School District and ACLU Continue Ban on Public and Private Religious Expression

Posted by faithandthelaw on June 4, 2010

Pensacola, FL /Christian News/ – During the Memorial Day weekend, Liberty Counsel filed in federal court a request for a preliminary injunction against the Santa Rosa County School District (District) and its Superintendent, Timothy S. Wyrosdick.

Liberty Counsel filed a Complaint against the District last month on behalf of 22 individuals representing students, faculty and staff, and members of the community, whose constitutional rights to free speech are being violated by a Consent Decree drafted by the ACLU, agreed to by the District, and entered by a federal court. The motion for preliminary injunction filed over the weekend requests the federal court to block the enforcement of the Consent Decree and set it aside. Under the Consent Decree, a student was told he could not say “God Bless” and had to change it to “Good Luck.” Teachers are not allowed to reply to emails send by parents seeking advice if the parents’ email contains words like “God Bless.” District employees are prohibited from participating in privately sponsored off-campus religious events or baccalaureate. Faculty and staff are required to stop prayers at privately sponsored after-school clubs.

Not only does the Consent Decree violate the free speech rights of faculty, staff, students, and members of the community seeking equal access to school facilities, it should also be set aside as moot, because the ACLU student plaintiffs graduated prior to the Consent Decree becoming a final order. Once they graduated, the court lost jurisdiction and should have dismissed the case.

Mathew Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, commented: “Freedom fled from Santa Rosa County when the ACLU filed suit. Liberty Counsel intends to restore freedom and end the intimidation. The constitutional violations wrought by the ACLU’s court order are the most outrageous I have seen. The court order directly conflicts with opinions from the United States Supreme Court. It is only a matter of time before the ACLU court order is set aside. Schools are not religious-free zones.”

Courtesy of http://www.freechristianpress.com/legal/school-district-and-aclu-continue-ban-on-public-and-private-religious-expression/

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3 Responses to “School District and ACLU Continue Ban on Public and Private Religious Expression”

  1. somerville61 said

    Why have you published a post with so many lies?

    The so-called Christian News press release you have posted has the following statements that are either untrue or a result of deliberate actions on the part of xian officials to cause problems.

    “Under the Consent Decree, a student was told he could not say “God Bless” and had to change it to “Good Luck.” Teachers are not allowed to reply to emails send by parents seeking advice if the parents’ email contains words like “God Bless.” District employees are prohibited from participating in privately sponsored off-campus religious events or baccalaureate. Faculty and staff are required to stop prayers at privately sponsored after-school clubs.”

    The consent decree is available for reading at {http://www.aclu.org/files/pdfs/religion/santarosaco_consentdecree.pdf}

    • There are not lies in the story but truth as it is amazing to think that this is going on the USA and our religious liberty is under attack. I have talked to the attorneys involved in the lawsuit so know first hand this information is true for all those to have ears to hear and eyes to see. God bless.

      Tim

  2. somerville61 said

    oh yes, poor persecuted xians!!

    78 percent of the population and you are so repressed.

    from the original PR release;
    “Under the Consent Decree, a student was told he could not say “God Bless” and had to change it to “Good Luck.” ”

    from the injunction:
    “Permanent Injunction

    5. (e) If a School Official elects to review or may by policy review the content of student’s or any other person’s planned address during or in conjunction with a School Event, then School Officials shall prohibit the person making the address from offering a Prayer

    (h) To the extent that School Officials permit a person during or in conjunction with School Events to give an address that a School Official can or does shape, review or edit for content, substance, message, style, or theme, then School Officials shall the person that the person’s address must exclude Prayer.”

    I believe these would be the relevant sections that cover the statement about a student not being allowed to say “God Bless”

    Notice the bits about “School Officials” reviewing or editing speeches and presentations? As in other school free speech cases, when a student is chosen to give a speech or presentation, the student is allowed to say what they wish as long as no “School Official” looks at it in advance of the time of presentation. It is only when a “School Official” provides approval or influences the content does the injunction come into effect. NOW – if the Santa Rosa School District has instituted a policy of “NO religious speech at any time” – it is not complying with the injunction.

    The problem for your side of the argument comes on those days when a Hindu or a Muslim or a Wiccan student is the class valedictorian. For if there is no religious speech of any type allowed, they could then sue the district.

    In all of those free speech cases involving students, every case has found that students are allowed to say what they want to, as long as no educational authority, from teacher to coach to principal to school board member, is allowed to approve or disapprove the speech or presentation.

    So what does your side say when a non-xian student speaks out about their religion?

    The facts in the specific case concerning the Santa Rosa School District showed an overwhelming bias toward, not just Christianity, but a rather limited view of that specific faith.

    and some poor teachers had to go and pray in a closet – oh dear, how repressive. One must assume they haven’t read Matthew 6 v.5-8

    “5”And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
    6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
    7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.
    8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. NIV

    maybe you prefer the KJV
    5And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

    6But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

    7But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

    8Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

    xian hypocrisy is such fun

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