Something to ponder

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by 1stferg, Mar 22, 2006.

  1. 1stferg

    1stferg Comrade

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    A local high school, public, has a picture of Jesus hanging in the hallway outside the principal's office. Don't know how long it has been there. A concerned parent has requested that it be taken down. Principal did not remove the picture. Parent went to the school board and they are dragging their feet on making a decision.

    As a Christian that picture does not offend me. As a matter of fact it gives me comfort. But I am smart enough to know that there are some who would find the picture offensive. Students are now protesting outside the school across the street to keep the picture in place. The board of ed has decided that for each day the students miss class to protest it will be counted as an unexcused absence. I think that makes sense.

    My concern is if the school board allows the picture to stay in a public school then they are opening the door for all religious sects to "advertise" in the public schools. How do you feel about that?
     
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  3. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Your principal is an idiot. Symbols of his religion no more belong
    there than those of Muslims, Jews, Hindus or any other.
    What kind of message does that send to children of other
    faiths? He belongs in a private school where he can save
    souls without impunity. He has no more right to do that
    than I have to put a cross on my playground.
    What an embarrassment he is to public education.
     
  4. MisterG

    MisterG Comrade

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    Hmm, Well I think he should take it down. It is depicting a particular religous faith. While Im on the creationist side of the whole science issue...I dont think religious symbols should be in school, at least not public schools.

    lol...I dont have a problem with the ten commandments being displayed though...hmm.

    While Im against taking God out of schools...it isnt fair to have just Him represented only.
     
  5. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    So let the other religions advertise in the school. So what. I wouldn't be offended if a picture of Buddah was hanging so I don't think others should be offended by a picture of Jesus. I say GET OVER IT and people need to stop causing more arguments than what is needed!!! Turning the other cheek is more the adult thing to do then to fight over a stupid poster.
     
  6. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    Do you think God would tell him that too as he's standing at the pearly gates of heaven?
     
  7. 1stferg

    1stferg Comrade

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    I see your point Jen as long as we are talking about major world religions. However, I have a problem with opening the school to all religions such as those with Satan as their center piece. Know what I mean?
     
  8. kburen

    kburen Cohort

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    I agree with JenPooh. Any religion that would like to advertise should be able to. People spend too much time in life being offended by other peoples choice of religion. Why should it offend someone to see a picture of Jesus? Or any other "higher power" involved with religion? People are too scared of what they "don't know" or choose not to know.

    In every room in my school we have a framed picture with "In God We Trust" written on it next to our flag. Do you guys think that should be taken down too since we are a public school? To my knowledge we've never had a parent complain.
     
  9. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    Oh 1stferg, I totally know what you mean, but what are the chances of that happening? Probably small. Plus, if someone was to sue a school for not letting them worship Satan, I would be willing to bet the family wouldn't win due to the content of the hateful "religion" (if you can call it that). Other religions are at least about peace and love, Satanists are not...totally different.
     
  10. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    This is a tough issue. While I wish that all faiths could display their "centerpieces" proudly, I would hate it if there were demonic pictures hung up in schools. I heard once that students couldn't even wear religious shirts to school until they were in 8th grade (or maybe high school), because they didn't want the students to influence each other religiously...
    And, there is a debate about taking the "In God We Trust" off of out money...I think that is a little out of hand. Isn't that what this country was founded on?
     
  11. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    YES!
     
  12. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    I don't know how the principal has managed to avoid this conflict for so long. This was bound to happen.
     
  13. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Of course, at that time, the intent was to protect the public from the government, not the other way around. They were concerned that the government not have the power to impose a particular religion on the citizens.

    Since it is such a personal topic, I prefer not to have any religious figures or symbols present in public school. Public schools aren't even successful at modeling or requiring common courtesy and respect among human beings, much less being involved with religious beliefs.
     
  14. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    This same type of issue (but for the Ten Commandments) was all over our papers last month. It actually happened in a small rural school district across the border (in Oklahoma). Well they removed the Ten Commandments, but let's just say only 3 people in the town were happy with it. The student and his parents. The parents are now suing the school district for emotional distress (I guess because of how the entire town is treating the student and his parents).
     
  15. Rosieo

    Rosieo Enthusiast

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    I have other things to worry about. Like did my students get breakfast, are they going home to a cold house, how can I get them to learn something, how I can handle a bully, what to do with an at-risk child, what to do with a gifted child, why is a child absent so much, what happened to little Suzie's glasses and on and on. I don't have time to worry about something hanging on the walls. Let's gear our energy towards the children that need our help and what we can do to be sure that every child is learning.
     
  16. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Things like this make me worry about the Pledge of Allegiance poster I have hanging next to the flag. Am I going to get into trouble about that?

    Rosieo, you are so right. I'm more worried about my students welfare than what's hanging up around the school.
     
  17. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    I couldn't agree more.
     
  18. ABall

    ABall Fanatic

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    I think to many people spend to much time making things controversial and not enough time with the kids.

    next we know some one will fuss over our currency, because it says " In God we trust".---------I'm sure some one already has, just havn't heard about it.
     
  19. m1ckeymouse

    m1ckeymouse Rookie

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    In our school, we also have pictures hanging up in every classroom that say "In God We Trust". We also still say the pledge every day and sing "Christmas" songs at Christmas time. At times for special occasions such as Veteran's DAy, 9-11 memorial, etc. we still have moments of silence observed. We even have bibles in our library. We are a small, rural school, but we have never had anyone complain. In fact, parents and community are often a part of these activities. We are very proud of our school for this. In fact it is one of the lowest paid districts in our state but I stay there because of the school and communities philosophies toward subjects like this. I'm not saying someone won't complain someday, but until then we are satisfied the way it is.
     
  20. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    I need to move to a small rural town!
     
  21. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    The principal is in the wrong. He is asking for problems and I would bet it's just a matter of time.
     
  22. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Do students have the right to express religious viewpoints in school assignments, reading materials, and clothing?
    Yes. The Supreme Court has held that the Constitution “affirmatively mandates accommodation, not merely tolerance, of all religions, and forbids hostility toward any.” First Amendment rights, such as the rights of freedom of speech and expression, accompany each student throughout the school day both inside and outside the classroom. Consequently, school officials must permit students to convey religious sentiments through their school assignments, selection of reading materials, and clothing that conveys a religious message through words or symbols.
    I can't imagine a school telling kids that isn't allowed. I'd fight them tooth and nail for the reasons mentioned above!
     
  23. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    We honor every child and his/her religious beliefs.
     
  24. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    May public schools display religious symbols?
    Yes. Public school officials may display religious symbols such as a crèche or nativity scene,etc., without offending the Constitution if they have a clear educational reason for doing so.
    Unless this principal can prove that he has an educational, secular reason for displaying this picture, I believe he will be forced to take the picture down.
    The law is pretty clear on this I believe. However, to call this principal an embarrassment and an idiot is out of line. He has a right to defend his beliefs without people calling him names, etc. Let the courts decide, he doesn't need a public lynching just for standing up for what he believes in!
     
  25. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    He really needs to display his beliefs at his private home. He is really acting very unprofessional. Like I said before, it's just a matter of time before there is trouble. Why invite it.
     
  26. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    But was this principal the one who hung the picture up? Sounds like it may have been there for awhile..........not that that will change the outcome............but HE may not be the one who is displaying it, but rather the one who is defending the right to keep it up.
     
  27. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Even if he didn't hang it there, I believe he is in charge of the building and what goes on there , therefore it is his reponsibility to remove it.
     
  28. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Religion in the Public Schools
    Religious Displays on School Property
    General Rule: Displays of religious symbols, texts or artwork on school property are impermissible unless a display is integrated into an appropriate secular curriculum. 52 The fact that a display is donated by a private group or paid for by private funds will not affect whether it is permissible under the Establishment Clause. 53

    May a school permanently display the Ten Commandments within classrooms or on school property? No. A temporary display of the Ten Commandments integrated into a secular curriculum such as history or comparative religion may be permissible. 54 However, the Ten Commandments are "undeniably" a religious text, and the Supreme Court and a number of lower courts evaluating permanent displays of the Ten Commandments have found that such displays have a predominantly religious purpose and violate the Establishment Clause. 55

    May a school permanently display religious artwork within classrooms or on school property? No. Similar to displays of the Ten Commandments, a temporary display of religious artwork integrated into a secular curriculum may be permissible. However, courts also have found that permanent displays of religious artwork have a predominantly religious purpose and violate the Establishment Clause. 56

    Sample Scenario:


    Principal Displays Religious Painting in High School Hallway
    Rob Franklin, a graduating high school senior who is heading off to art school, donates a painting to his high school depicting the Last Supper of Jesus and his apostles. Impressed by the quality of the work, Principal Bard hangs the painting in a hallway of the school. A year later, Ms. Greene, the parent of a ninth-grader, sees the painting when she visits the school for parent-teacher night. She later tells Principal Bard that the display of the painting is inappropriate and asks that it be taken down.

    Is the display of the painting permissible? Should Principal Bard take it down?
    Principal Bard should take down the painting because its display violates the Establishment Clause. The display is not temporary and integrated into a secular curriculum. Rather, it is a permanent display representing a central event to the Christian faith, and therefore advances and endorses religion. The fact that Rob donated the painting to the school does not diminish this endorsement.
     
  29. 1stferg

    1stferg Comrade

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    Interesting you should bring that up. That was the case several years ago. I don't recall if it was a local thing or state wide or national. I was told specifically not to wear any jewelry with a cross on it. At the time I was teaching in a school near the university that had a very diverse population. About one third of my class was from other countries. I had a little girl who was Muslim. She had reached the age where she had to wear the scarf all the time. You know how kids are. Some of them started pulling her scarf down. I would get after them when ever I saw them doing that. But sometimes they would pull it in the bathroom or on the playground where I did not see. Her mom called and explained to me that that scarf was a religious symbol and demanded that I see that it never came off her head again. So I explained to her that we did not recognize religious symbols in the public school. Furthermore, if it really was a religious symbol then she could not wear it any more because Christian children and teachers could not wear crosses in jewelry or on clothing. Well, she went to the principal. Soon after that I was allowed to wear my cross to school. Imagine that!
     
  30. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    I can't imagine them saying you couldn't wear your cross, that is too much control. I do wear cross earrings and a ring sometimes. At times, on blue jean day, I may wear a religious t-shirt, or a t-shirt from a Christian group. I don't do it deliberately, it's just what I choose to wear that day. My students often wear religious t-shirts, epscially Bible School t-shirts. (We don't have uniforms.) That smells a little bit too much like government control. I understand not pushing one religion over another, but I don't agree in telling anyone they can't worship or express their religious beliefs.
     
  31. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    Anyone who tells me I can't display my religion and proudly can kiss my butt!!!

    Kinder, I am totally with you! The embarrassment comment was way out of line. I am sure God would be proud of that principal for standing up for his belief. I'd be more afraid of God than the government.
     
  32. kburen

    kburen Cohort

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    Next think you know people are going to be telling us that it's wrong as us, as teachers, to pray before we have lunch together in school on teacher work days, early release days, or special holiday dinners....Just because we're in the school at the time that we do it.
     
  33. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    I just love the "god would be proud of him" comments.
    I would never to presume to speak for God.
    I would love to have heard your comments had this
    moron had put up a picture of Mohammad or Budha.
    Your screams of indignation would be heard for miles.
    This man is the leader of a public school. Not a church.
    Not a synagogue or mosque. A public school. Now I know
    that Jesus is precious to many people and he is the only way
    to salvation and other things but he belongs in your heart,
    your church, your home and lots of places. Not on the wall
    of a public funded school with children from all walks of
    life.
    A picture of Jesus doesnt offend me. I attended public schools
    in north Fla. and we prayed in the morning. Read bible verses
    in 3rd grade in the morning, prayed before lunch each day and
    we all survived. Heck, I taught in Lawtey Fla in the early eighties
    and still observed the 2nd grade teacher lead a prayer in the
    morning. None of it scares me or offends me. It offends me that
    a leader of children would PRESUME to bring his faith to children
    during school. It is out of place and criminal. If he was a muslim
    and was doing it you would all scream for blood.
    As for all the "next this will happen" comments they are all strawman
    arguments. We have a moment of silent prayer or meditation
    at school. Anyone can pray over their own lunch. We even
    have bible club after school (for those that want to attend).
    It is tiresome to hear all the christianity under attack nonsense.
    There are more churches in towns all over the country than
    schools. You have a right in this country to worship what you want
    when you want and pretty much where you want. You just cannot
    use public funds to promote it (like the walls of a public school).
    Awaiting your indignation and lashes.:sorry:
    The funny thing is all I hear about from other forums I visit is how
    ungodly teachers are, how they are promoting the homosexual agenda and socialists ideals. Boy would they be happy with
    some here. Ive always told them that most teachers I work with
    are good god fearing moderates that are too busy with kids to
    worry about all that political nonsense. OK, I gotta go back
    to field day. We got it all done before the rain came and now I go pass out about 120 ribbons.
     
  34. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    Ignorance!
     
  35. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Wow, stephenpe, you got all that in on field day! I'm impressed.

    I agree with you. I'm not one to see this as some kind of war on Christianity. That isn't the issue. Nobody has the right to advocate their religious beliefs on public property. Period. Of course we all have the right to pray over meals whenever we'd like. But I'll leave the religious teaching to parents. I'm not afraid to use the word God in school or to explain any religious tradition. My school doesn't receive federal funding, so we are free to espouse what we wish. We choose to respect each child's culture and upbringing by exhibiting respect and tolerance for our students and their families.
     
  36. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Stephenpe, unlike you, I don't call people morons for their religious beliefs or for any reason, for that matter. You seem pretty angry at Christians........your post says a lot about that. And for the record, I certainly would NOT be calling for blood had this been a muslim, jew, hindu, or any other religious picture. It would not offend me in the least, don't try and speak for all Christians and make presumptions of people you don't even know. I respect and TOLERATE people of ALL faiths, and those who are atheists. I would allow due process and the court system to rule on the legalities of posting this picture. Thank goodness we live in a country where we are allowed to express ourselves freely........you certainly have been given that right, and I in turn expect the same courtesy and rights as a Christian. Name calling and belittling ones faith shows me that you have very little tolerance of others.
     
  37. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    Kinder, I could not have said it better myself. AMEN!
     
  38. MrsMikesell

    MrsMikesell Cohort

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    I wear a cross around my neck and keep a Bible in my desk. Am I asking for trouble? Nope. Not really. These are just things that I do.

    I worked in the Catholic schools for 7 years before I went to the public schools. I won't stop being who I am because of my job.

    Maybe this Principal should place the picture somewhere more private for him, but I don't think that he needs to totally abandon it.

    I don't remember when or where or how the schools got to where they are today - but there used to be a time when families, church, prayer, faith were all acceptable.

    I firmly believe that if some of these things came back - the USA would not be where it is today.

    Kelly :)
     
  39. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    I couldn't agree more!!!
     
  40. kburen

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    Kingerkids is right.....As it has already been said by MANY people (myself included) we wouldn't be offended if it were another religion.

    Stephenpe: are you saying that your school's leaders were morons? You've already said that in YOUR schools you prayed and read the bible and blah blah blah....And also said that it was a PUBLIC school. But you said this guy is a moron just for having a picture of Jesus. From what we know, he's not expressing anything verbally to the students as it was done in YOUR school.
     
  41. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    I thought it was kind of contradicting too. Glad I'm not the only one who thought so.
     

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