MI School Searches Only for Christian Superintendent

A school system a couple hours from where I live is searching for a new superintendent and they wanted to make clear that they were only looking for someone with a “a strong Christian background and philosophy.” The ACLU informed them that this would be blatantly illegal discrimination.

McBain Rural Agricultural Schools’ search for a new superintendent who has “a strong Christian background and philosophy” is under scrutiny from the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan.

State ACLU leaders wrote a letter to the district on Tuesday, March 3, urging the district remove any reference to religion, saying the requirement violates multiple federal and state laws against discrimination

“There is no principle more fundamental to American public education than the requirement that schools be welcoming of all students, employees and administrators regardless of religious or ethnic background,” Dan Korobkin, ACLU of Michigan deputy legal director wrote. “Our Constitution wisely requires public schools to remain neutral in matters of religion. When a school favors one religion over another, or religion over non-religion, students and teachers who do not subscribe to the favored religion are made to feel like they do not belong.”

The search firm the school hired to find the new superintendent quickly backed off and changed the job description, but not without lying about it:

A consultant helping a rural Northern Michigan school district with its superintendent search apologized for suggesting that candidates have “a strong Christian background and philosophy” and has removed the criteria from the job description.

Scott Crosby, the regional president of the Michigan Leadership Institute for West Central Michigan, responded to the American Civil Liberties Union’s request to remove any reference to religion from a McBain Rural Agricultural Schools’ job posting.

Crosby admitted that the wording was “poor judgment” on his part, not the school board. The religious reference was not meant to discriminate, but was intended to reflect the area’s “close-knit and conservative” beliefs, he said…

Crosby said the school district is a “welcoming, inclusive environment where all backgrounds are respected.” Crosby spent 33 years in education, including 11 years as superintendent in two districts before retiring.

“There was clearly no intent to favor one religion over another, or religion over non-religion, and students and teachers are made to feel like they all belong vs. made to feel like ‘they do not belong’ in McBain from my personal experience,” he wrote in an email to the ACLU. “As the person responsible for this posting, I apologize to your organization and to any individual who feels that our language was discriminatory in any way. There was no mention of preference, favoritism, or this being a requirement in reviewing this document.”

Of course there was. If you say you’re looking for a Christian for the job, there is a clear intent to favor one religion over another by definition. Apparently they’re being represented by Humpty Dumpty and words mean whatever they want them to mean at any given moment, neither more nor less.

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  • dugglebogey

    Translation “When I said ‘we were only looking for christians,’ I meant to say ‘we are only looking for good people.’ The fact that only christians can be good people is really how it works in my mind.”

  • Henrietta Swan

    I bet that Crosby is so self-deluded that he believe he is not lying.

    To him, it is perfectly reasonable and defensible to open a call of anyone, of any religion. As long as the odd Jew who may apply has “a strong Christian background and philosophy.”

    To him, every good person in this country has a strong Christian background and philosophy. Even the Jews (or, heaven forbid, one of those other religions, as long as they’re the same color as Crosby).

    To him, this is not a contradiction, but a genuine, though ignorant, sheltered, and naive, belief.

  • raven

    that they were only looking for someone with a “a strong Christian background and philosophy.” The ACLU informed them that this would be blatantly illegal discrimination.

    There are a lot of things wrong with this.

    1. It assumes xians are good people. Xianity is not a source for morality. They can be moral but the religion…makes it a lot harder.

    2. It’s that Worldview fallacy again. There isn’t one xian philosophy. The religion has 42,000 sects that disagree on everything. They also frequently hate each other.

    This school district should have specified which brand of Woo they wanted. Creationist, social justice, Catholic haters, Protestant haters, girl haters, and so on. Since it is Michigan, I’m guessing they wanted Calvinist, Xian Reformed, Creationist, Obama hater, science hater.

    3. And oh yeah, it is also illegal.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    The religious reference was not meant to discriminate, but was intended to reflect the area’s “close-knit and conservative” beliefs, he said…

    You’ve got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know… morons.

  • parasiteboy

    On the Fox News Website right now, America is not a “Christian” nation

    I know it’s off topic and it’s an opinion piece, but holy shit!!! I was also going to email this to Ed, but couldn’t find an email address.

    Also from one of the commenters at the website

    An article like this on Fox News???

    Response

    must be the editor’s last day.

  • parasiteboy

    @5

    I find it amusing also that the article is posted under their header for Islam

  • raven

    It isn’t going to matter what the ACLU does or McBain says.

    They are going to hire a xian, at least somewhat similar to the dominant local cult version, whatever it is, and almost certainly white and male. The ad wording was totally unnecessay, like adding white or male would be.

    OTOH, probably no one else would want to live in McBain, Michigan unless they are desperate for a job. From the map it is in the middle of nowhere, small, and has cold, snowy winters.

    Wikipedia:

    The racial makeup of the city was 95.6% White,

    The median age in the city was 45.9 years.

    For every 100 females there were 77.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 72.2 males.

    It doesn’t look like it is quite on the way to being a rural midwest coast town. Population went up, last ten years. A lot of old people. Sex ratio is far out of norm. I hope they aren’t practicing male infanticide or something. (This is a joke, I don’t believe they would do this, Female infanticide OTOH…). I’m guessing a lot of men leave for a better life and the women stay behind for some reason. Or there are a lot of old women and the men die younger.

  • raven

    rural midwest coast town = rural midwest ghost town. Not sure how that got in there.

  • scienceavenger

    If you say you’re looking for a Christian for the job, there is a clear intent to favor one religion over another by definition. Apparently they’re being represented by Humpty Dumpty and words mean whatever they want them to mean at any given moment, neither more nor less.

    Oh ye who live outside the Bible Belt…

    You’d be shocked to know how many people in said belt use “Christian” and “good person” interchangably. They literally do not mean anything religious when they say “Christian” in that context. I’ve actually had family members refer to unbelivers as Christians even while lamenting their lack of belief in a risen Jesus. It’s similar to how people raised in the south might say something like “that’s mighty white of you” out of habit without thinking about or intending the racism someone not used to it hears.

    In short, their privilege is showing.

  • http://www.gregory-gadow.net Gregory in Seattle

    The wording has been removed from the printed job description. You know for damned sure that it remains at the top of qualifications the interview committee is actually using.

  • robertfaber

    Just so you know, McBain is pretty similar to Carson City for evangelical creepiness.

  • socalcommie

    Hey Modus… #4

    Quoting with attribution (Blazing Saddles) should be applied here! Plagiarist!!! 😉