Terror Alert Level

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

They Never Seem To Get It Right

Via Friendly Atheist, we learn of a school district in Virginia that simply doesn't understand the law, and this time, its Christians who are getting the slimy end of the stick.

...members of Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Floyd County High School say administrators tore down taped copies of the Ten Commandments from more than 50 lockers on Wednesday.
"We really wanted to set it up as an example," said FCA member
Andrew Harris.
Harris plays golf for Floyd County High School and is one of the students who posted the Commandments to his locker.
"Birthday wishes, things like that seem to go up without an approval stamp," said
School officials would not confirm to WSLS what happened, but did reveal their policy on posting to lockers. Principal
Barry Hollandsworth said while approval is needed for flyers and announcements, he said notes such as happy birthday and well wishes for sports games do not need approval.
David Corry, the senior litigation counselor for the Liberty Counsel, thinks that if students can post things like birthday wishes and any other sort of well wishes, that all religious speech should be allowed.

Guess who else agrees? The ACLU!

The ACLU of Virginia has come to the defense of a group of Christian athletes in Floyd County.
In an e-mail sent Friday afternoon, the civil liberties group said it had e-mailed the principal of
Floyd Co. High School (FHS), and urged him to allow students to post their personal views, including copies of the Ten Commandments, on the lockers.

Its really quite simple, and I don't understand why so many school administrators do not get it. The School, as an arm of the government, cannot compel, coerce, or encourage one religion or another over any other belief system, or lack of religious belief. They also cannot prevent the students from exercising their religious rights, so long as those expressions of religious belief aren't disruptive. If the school allows personal messages on a student's locker, then the student is free to put up a religious affirmation on the locker as well. Its the same with the facilities. If the school starts the day with a prayer, or a moment of silence, its a violation. If a group of students wishes to gather before school, or during free time, or after school to engage in prayer, or bible study, or whatever, they're allowed to.

You'd think that people with college degrees could grasp this rather simple legal concept.

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