Filtering and Free Exercise: ACLU vs. Salem Public Library

In 2002 Nancy Willard, Executive Director of the Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use, issued a report that warned of the troubling confluence between content-control software and conservative religious groups.Willard voiced concerns that the relationships between companies providing web-filtering software to public institutions may be "inappropriately preventing students from accessing certain materials based on religious or other inappropriate bias." She went on to note that terms like "occult" or "cult" are "frequently applied to any non-traditional religions" and that it would be "unacceptable for schools to block access to non-traditional religious sites."Five years … [Read more...]

Pagan News, Grassroots Journalism, and the Mainstream Media

Today the Atlanta Journal Constitution's education blogger, Maureen Downey, took notice of the now-resolved difficulties faced by the Turner family of Bowden, Georgia, whose son, Christopher (11), was facing religiously-motivated harassment by his school."... some argue that not all religions are met with hostility in the classroom, only those far outside the mainstream. That complaint was made this month via an Internet campaign on behalf of a pagan family in Carroll County. Stephanie Turner said her 11-year-old son was singled out and punished after he took off the neopagan holiday of Samhain. Once the boy returned to class, his teacher allegedly questioned him and said,  'Paganism … [Read more...]

Resolution in Georgia School Harassment Case

Yesterday, just hours after I posted an update on the difficulties faced by the Turner family of Bowden, Georgia, whose son, Christopher (11), was facing religiously-motivated harassment by his school, another press release was sent out that seems to point to an agreement between Carroll County School District, the Turner family, and coalition of Pagan advocacy groups.Here's the full press release: Statement from Bowdon Elementary School, Carroll County School District, and members of the Turner Family Support Task Force as represented by Lady Liberty League, North Georgia Solitaries, Covenant of the Goddess, Dogwood Local Council, and Circle Sanctuary:The Turner Family, Task Fo … [Read more...]

Updates: Georgia School Harassment Case, Saudi Arabia’s Sorcery Beheading, Peruvian Shaman Slayings, and Dan Halloran

Today I have some updates and new developments in stories previously covered here at The Wild Hunt.Georgia School Harassment Case: Last week I reported on an official joint statement sent out by the North Georgia Solitaries, Dogwood Local Council of the Covenant of the Goddess, Lady Liberty League, and its parent organization, Circle Sanctuary, on the difficulties faced by the Turner family of Bowden, Georgia, whose son, Christopher (11), was facing religiously-motivated harassment by his school (as originally reported by the Atlanta IMC). Now, that coalition, The Turner Family Support Task Force, has sent out an update calling for ongoing spiritual and fiscal support. "Please send your … [Read more...]