Voices Of Sanity

At the meeting to decide whether or not to appeal, there were some voices of sanity.  Here’s Daniel Ciora.

“You should not appeal this case because you’re unlikely to win an appeal. Nor should you.”


Then the students.

First is Taylor Grenga, who I met at the American Humanist Association’s conference last April.  She has been a key supporter for Jessica since the beginning.  Like Jessica, she is diminutive and quiet.  Also like Jessica, she apparently has a gift for calmly telling a group of hostile people how it is.  Who knew she could be so calm and speak so reasonably in front of a reproving room?

Of course, the same crowd that cheered Chris Young booed her.  The Superintendent, a Catholic, chastises the whole room.  Good on him.

Then Jessica takes the podium and in the same measured tone she always uses provides a reminder that this is an issue of Constitutional legality to an audience who has shown they couldn’t care less what the law says about it.

Taylor and Jessica stared the crowd in the face and did what was right.  That is what bravery looks like.

I want to be like them.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • http://everydayatheist.wordpress.com Everyday Atheist

    The superintendent deserves some kudos for recognizing that the adults set the tone for their children’s and the other student’s reactions. When adults are willing to boo a teenager for standing up for her principles, they send the very clear message that verbal intimidation, at a minimum, is acceptable.

    Before I watched that clip, I was impressed with what Jessica has done and how she’s handled herself. After seeing it, I am awe-stricken by the courage she and Taylor show. I’ve been in front of hostile crowds as an adult. There are few more stressful things than a large group of people disagreeing (perhaps vociferously) with you, making you out to be a bad guy when you’re acting in good faith. For 16- and 17-year-olds to stand up in public and take that kind of abuse in defense of their principles is nothing short of inspiring.

  • AZ Skeptic

    I am deeply humbled by the courage and integrity of these two young women. Incredible.

  • neatospiderplant

    Go Taylor! Go supernintendo! Go Jessica!

  • http://peternothnagle.com Peter N

    I have seen a few mild calls for moderation, like the school superintendent in the video above, but where are the religious leaders? Are they all keeping silent? I wonder what sermons will be preached in Cranston this Sunday. JT, if you hear about any religious leaders repudiating this mob behavior, will you let us know?

  • http://clevelandatheists.com Sam Salerno

    Don’t mess with Jess.

  • Mark

    So, who is going to fight for the other constitutional violations in public schools?

  • David Hart

    “Whether it’s Catholicism, whether it’s Christianity, Buddhism…”

    Do people there really classify ‘Christianity’ as something distinct from ‘Catholicism’? Or is that just a slight glitch while talking off the cuff?

  • Slaughter

    Wow, I just watched one of the other videos, and it was from ABC TV here in Phoenix, Channel 15, and they had a “psychic” weighing in on this! Unbelievably stupid, but it’s TV, so what should you expect? Og course, this Blair Richardson, being a “spiritual” person, was against removing the banner.