Cullman County School District in Alabama Is the Site of Even More Violations of Church/State Separation

Just the other day, I posted about a “prayer caravan” organized by Cullman County Schools (Alabama) Superintendent Billy Coleman. The idea was that he would lead a group of people to all the schools in the district and pray… becauseI guess that raises test scores in Alabama or something. They’ve been doing this for a few years running.

We also learned from the Freedom From Religion Foundation (PDF) that the caravan wasn’t the school’s only violation of the law:

We were also informed that schools in the Cullman County system recite the Lord’s Prayer over the loudspeaker each morning. We understand that an attempt to mask this illegal practice is made by giving students “the option” to participate.

So why bring this all up again?

Because FFRF has learned that they’ve only hit the tip of the iceberg when it comes to violations of church/state separation in the district:

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A Principal Allowed Her to Deliver Bible Readings on School Property Every Morning This Past Spring

I teach at a public high school and the visitor policy works like this: If you’re not a student or staff member, you must sign in at the front desk, show identification, and declare the intent of your visit. Even if a parent is just dropping off lunch for his child, those are the rules. They apply immediately before, during, and immediately after school. I hope it’s obvious that this is all for the safety of the people in the building.

Concord High School in New Hampshire has a similar policy, but one parent was coming on school grounds every morning this past spring (from February onward), was in contact with students as they entered the building, and no one did anything about it. In fact, the principal allowed her to do it.

Why did that happen?

Because the mother, Lizarda Urena, wanted to pray for everybody:

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Alabama Public School District Plans ‘Prayer Caravan’ to Bless Schools for the Upcoming Year

Here’s how you know your school district is led by an incompetent individual: Instead of doing something to help the students, he makes plans to lead prayers in front of every school.

That’s what Cullman County Schools (Alabama) Superintendent Billy Coleman decided to do last week:

It will be a time to lift out schools up to God and ask His blessings for the upcoming school year. We hope to see you on August 10th.

In Christ, Billy Coleman

It was apparently the third year of this “Prayer Caravan.”

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Volcano Erupts at Camp Quest West Southern California

camp quest volcano show wide shot

Sunday night, just like last year, I had the privilege to donate another science presentation for the kids at Camp Quest West, Southern California. They are now using a larger facility still in the Angeles National Forest where stately Ponderosa Pines tower over handsome, well maintained cabins. There is plenty of wildlife, and wow, bringing my show equipment in from my truck, I came face-to-face with a beautiful and unexpectedly large deer.

I usually do these shows for a fee for libraries, schools, clubs, and gem and mineral shows, about 50 to a hundred performances each year, but Camp Quest has now become the repeating highlight of the year for me. Last year the topic was dinosaurs, and this time it was volcanoes, but the awesome power that evening was erupting from the kids, not from the Earth.

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In Moore, Oklahoma, Students Whose School Was Destroyed by the Tornado Will Have Classes in a Church

This is a possible disaster in the making but it doesn’t have to be:

School officials in the Oklahoma city of Moore say students whose schools were destroyed in the deadly May tornado will attend classes next month in a refurbished junior high school building and a local church.

Specifically, students who would normally be attending Briarwood Elementary School will be having their classes in Emmaus Baptist Church (PDF) next year instead.

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