Hey, New Zealand, Stop Trying to Be Like America

Another public school. Another prayer. Another administrator who thinks those two things belong together.

The only surprising thing is that this is happening in Auckland, New Zealand.

At the beginning of the day at Kelston Intermediate School, students recite karakia — a Maori prayer. The principal doesn’t see anything wrong with that:

Kelston Intermediate principal Phil Gordon said he had no idea some staff were unhappy with karakia in the classroom until contacted by the union representative.

Gordon said he reassured the union representative the karakia was a cultural component of school life and an expression of beliefs that reflected the Kelston community.

“I guess what they might have been inquiring about is the presence of karakia, etc, within school so we talked about what we’re doing is not a religious thing but a cultural thing.”

Staff and pupils were free to abstain, he insisted. “I think perhaps there has been a mismatch in understanding.”

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Christian College Expels Lesbian Student, Then Demands Repayment of Scholarships

When Danielle Powell fell in love with the woman she would marry, it ended up costing her nearly $6,000 — and her education.

Powell was finishing her psychology degree at Grace University in Omaha, Nebraska, when she started openly dating Michelle Rogers. Unfortunately for her, Grace isn’t your ordinary college, but a private Christian school that requires its students uphold a rigid code of “moral” conduct:

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Catholic School Teacher Loses Her Job Because She’s a Victim of Domestic Abuse

Who would Jesus fire?

Catholic Holy Trinity School in El Cajon, California told second-grade teacher Carie Charlesworth she is out of a job. Charlesworth’s infraction? Funny story: There isn’t one.

She is a victim of a stalker who happens to be her ex-husband. The school has decided that Charlesworth is too unsafe to be allowed back in school, not because of anything she did, but because of the behavior of her former spouse.

Back in January, the man, who has a history of inflicting domestic abuse, showed up in the school’s parking lot and, in a likely overreaction, put the school into lockdown mode. Charlesworth, who is just now coming forward, was put on indefinite leave for three months, then fired.

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No, Salon, Atheists Are Not ‘Just as Obnoxious as Christians’

Mary Elizabeth Williams, writing for Salon, thinks that atheists are “just as obnoxious as Christians.” She lowers us to their level because atheists recently fought to be treated like Christians in a Florida school district.

Atheists aren’t being “obnoxious” when we force government officials to treat us like they do Christians — we’re being strategic under the rules of the law. And it works.

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I’m Just Like a Hollywood Actor!

Laurie Higgins of the Illinois Family Institute can’t believe that the Glen Ellyn Elementary District 41 school board voted 6-1 to overturn the ban on The Perks of Being a Wallflower earlier this week, so she’s griping about how kids reading things she finds indecent is bad for society and how teachers who encourage students to read these challenging books are political activists “masquerading as ‘educators’” and how the sky is falling.

She doesn’t like the “stronger” parental notification compromise, either, where the note that goes home to parents each year will explain that students may choose to read books with “mature content” but parents have a right to say no to those selections:

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