American Legion Group Demands Prayer at Public School’s Veterans Day Ceremony, but School Officials Say No

This past June, the Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a letter to Wallenpaupack Area Schools (in Pennsylvania) Superintendent Michael Silsby letting him know that if a clergy member ever again led a prayer at the district high school’s graduation ceremony, they would be hit with a lawsuit. Silsby wrote back in August: “The District will no longer have religious rituals as part of the commencement ceremony.”

Excellent. Problem solved.

So you can imagine how Silsby reacted when he learned what American Legion Post 311 wanted to do during Wallenpaupack Area High School’s Veterans Day ceremony next month. Normally, the event includes announcing the winners of an essay contest, singing patriotic songs, and listening to a guest speaker. But this year, the Legion made an additional, ungrantable request: Let our chaplain say a prayer at the assembly.

Silsby, not wanting to go through the same legal battle again, told them prayer wasn’t an option. It was a public school ceremony. There would be no mixing of church and state.

The veterans didn’t take the news so well. They’re now saying if the school won’t allow their chaplain to say a prayer at the event, they just won’t show up:



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School Board Says Prayer is Allowed at Parent-Teacher Meetings… if Teachers Are Banned From Group Leadership

Last week, I posted about how the Franklin County School Board in Tennessee was debating whether or not the Parent-Teacher Organization should be praying at meetings:

The school board’s attorney suggested that a moment of silence would be okay, but a prayer crossed the line — Since the PTO was a school-sponsored group, it was violating the law.

Well, the school board has finally figured out how to handle this.

Oh, they’re still allowing the prayers. But they’re also telling teachers that they can’t be on the board of the Parent-Teacher group:

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Cannon County School Board Unanimously Replaces ‘Winter Break’ with ‘Christmas Break’

Last week, when the Cannon County Board of Education (Woodbury, Tennessee) held its monthly board meeting, nothing very eventful happened until the board members discussed next year’s school calendar.

This is normally a quick, breezy process. Just approve it and move on.

But one of the board members was offended by what he saw on the proposed schedule:

“What is the possibility of calling Winter Break Christmas Break instead?” [Chris] Blackburn asked.

“I am frankly tired of being pushed around by people that want to take Christ and God and Christmas and everything out of the school system,” Blackburn said. “They want to take prayer out of school and they want to take it out before ballgames. I am in favor of this calendar as long as we call it Christmas break.

What the hell…?



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Private Christian Schools That Receive Taxpayer Dollars Are (Legally) Expelling Gay Students

Usually, when church/state advocates argue against school vouchers, they’re fighting against tax dollars being used to pay for religious schools that may preach Creationism or revisionist history.

Alex Morris shows us in the latest issue of Rolling Stone that there’s another concern: LGBT students can be legally expelled from schools that are receiving this government cash:

As religious institutions, these schools have the legal right to uphold and enforce any faith-based belief system they please. And parents who enroll their children — if not always the children being enrolled — understand the repercussions of such policies. However, by exploiting recent legislation, Christian schools in Georgia that openly discriminate against gay students have been receiving millions of dollars in diverted public funds as a result of a 2008 law meant to provide funding to help [low­-income] children transfer to private schools. Tristan, Jason and Emily, along with about 500 other students, attend a school that participates in this program.

It’s not just Georgia — 11 other states now have laws that offer tax credits to those who give scholarships for private schools.

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These Two Kids Will Make You Want to Give to Charity

Last year, 7-year-old Lylah saved more than $200 by doing chores and donated it all to Toys for Tots. This year, she has a new focus with her giving:

This year I have been saving all year for the Uganda Humanist Schools Trust. My goal is to pay tuition for two kids to attend school for four years. This includes meals and uniforms. I would also like to fundraise to help with improvements. I am reaching out for your help, please donate and lets change the life of someone in need.


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