Advancing Religious Liberty
12/7/12 at 06:47 PM 0 Comments

Public Schools Gone Wild

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Author: Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco

November has been a concerning month in the public school realm when it comes to parental rights and religious liberty issues, two of Alliance Defending Freedom’s key ministry areas. As Fox News reported earlier this month, middle school students at a school in Maine learned about homosexual foreplay at a “Diversity Day” presentation put on by an organization named Proud Rainbow Youth of Southern Maine. Students who attended the presentation (who were around 13 years old) reported that, among other things, the presenters “were talking about sex and if you didn’t have a condom – saran wrap could be used in place of a dental dam.” The presenters also cursed and questioned whether the students had been taught about safe homosexual sex. This is an egregious encroachment on the right of parents to control the education of their children, especially regarding highly sensitive matters that implicate a family’s values and beliefs, like sexual morality and conduct. The school has apologized, but the harm is already done. As the Fox News article reports, parents across the town have been forced to discuss the presentation with their children. One parent stated that she had to let her son know “that no matter what situation he gets in – my suggestion is not saran wrap,” she said. “My suggestion is to abstain altogether.” Not surprisingly, abstinence was not even mentioned in the “Diversity Day” presentation.

On the religious liberty front, a school in North Carolina eliminated references to God in a poem a student wrote and shared at the school’s Veteran’s Day celebration. The student’s grandfathers both served in the Vietnam War. One of the lines of the poem stated “he prayed to God for peace, he prayed to God for strength.” One parent complained about the references, and sadly the school reacted by requiring the student to remove them. The school said it ”wanted to make sure we were upholding the school district’s responsibility of separation of church and state from the Establishment Clause.” Note to school: the phrase “separation of church and state” appears nowhere in the Constitution. The phrase is nothing more than an extra-constitutional construct concocted by groups like the ACLU and Freedom From Religion Foundation to scare schools into violating their student’s First Amendment free speech rights, which is exactly what has occurred here. We sent a letter to the school stating just that today.

Here’s hoping for a better December in the public school arena . . .

This post originally appeared here.

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