Fulton County, GA, public schools to eliminate good church/state policy?

| 98 Comments

Dale McGowan calls our attention to the plan of the Fulton County, Georgia (part of the Atlanta metro area) Board of Education to eliminate (not amend or revise, but eliminate) both its current policy and procedures concerning church/state issues in the schools and its policy on the teaching of religion. There’s some question about whether the elilmination is motivated by something beyond bureaucratic housecleaning, but the (lack of) responses from board members that McGowan reports is not an auspicious sign.

McGowan makes a couple of recommendations. First,

If you are a resident of Fulton County, Georgia and agree that these policies and procedure should remain in place, find out who your board member is and write a concise, reasonable but firm email expressing your strong conviction that these two policies and one procedure should stay right where they are. If you have kids in school, name the school.

Please don’t harass them, especially if you’re not a resident of Fulton County.

Second, he makes a recommendation that I’m going to follow up on:

If you are in a district that has been embroiled in church/state messes, you might drop a note to tell my district how helpful clear policy can be. It means less head-butting, fewer lawsuits, and fewer distractions from the education of our kids.

I will surely do that, given the Freshwater affair in my own district.

98 Comments

I am shocked, I say, shocked son to see this happen in the south.

/Foghorn Leghorn voice

Can you say “Dover trap”?

Doesn’t Federal law supersede all this anyway… provided that they follow it and don’t interpret it.

America has lived hundreds of years with no problems, pretty much, between the state and the church! What’s the problem now? Is the state teaching the church is wrong on some of its main doctrines to the kids?? If so which doctrines are wrong ? It seems unreasonable the state would do this/! Either the state should stop teaching the church is wrong on its doctrines or allow rebuttal worthy of the word. This might please everyone. Perhaps these are subjects that just can’t help but cross lines normally solid.

OgreMkV said:

Doesn’t Federal law supersede all this anyway… provided that they follow it and don’t interpret it.

According to Jefferson the federal government has no authority in this area.

JimNorth, I believe FogHorn would say; ‘boy, I say boy, now pay attention boy, you might learn something’.

Dear Mr Byers I am not a member of your club (country) but I know enough to say that the statement, ‘America has lived hundreds of years with no problems, pretty much, between the state and church!’ is so monumentally stupid as to make most honest Americans blush!

The Salem witch burnings? Admittedly the 1690’s and before independence, but a theme was woven. Of course the British were far more scientific in their evaluations of witch burning, and refused most accusations; the colonials were just nuts and burned everyone. The 1960s and the ‘freedom train’? Black oppression, no state-church problem. Your ‘schoolboy’ history is tiring and dull; grow up; read, you numbskull!

Sir! You are of that tribe that refuses to read. That peculiar animal that can reside in a civilisation (of sorts) and not use that civilisations gifts; libraries, learning institutions, books etc. Your tiny existance revolves around the ever diminishing hope that somewhere, someone can actually give you some remedial piece, of a tiny glimmer of non-existant fluff, to put in the face of intelligent people, and say, ‘look, a rabbit in the cambriam!’ Rob.

kk, (such an unfortunate moniker, so open to abuse) 1.)Jefferson was not a god, he was a man, a great man true, but a man none the less, sorry to say, capable of error; he owned, and shagged black women. 2.) The constitution is a great document but in need of renovation. Not the ‘freedom of speech’ bits, or the ‘seperation’ bits, but the bits that made sense in the late 1700s, but make no sense today. Which bits? Have a debate! A debate is acivilized argument; don’t involve Fox.

I’m pretty sure that the teaching of religion in public-funded schools is illegal according to the constitution.

Although that document has more value as a paper airplane than as a fundamental principle of the US… at least if you look at how the government is ignoring it.

Actually, Robert, nobody was burned during the Salem witch hunts. They were all hanged or crushed beneath large stones.

Robert Byers said: America has lived hundreds of years with no problems, pretty much, between the state and the church!

So Prohibition wasn’t a problem?

Fundagelical churches today support the scientific illiteracy of creationism, including intelligent design creationism. Why would you support such willful ignorance?

Everybody,

I’m convinced that Robert Byers has an organic problem, and deserves sympathy and consideration.

He’s no FL.

Skraal, you sound like SIL #1. Did you ever write a note to the British Museum correcting their display on Joan of Arc? ;^) ;^) ;^)

fusilier James 2:24

This may be something innocent, but if so, it is coincidentally similar to the way creationists like to operate.

Cravenly, sneakily trying to sneak themselves into place to set off a big expensive mess bomb.

School board elections and activities are extremely under-publicized, so that’s how they like to operate.

That’s how they do it. That’s how they did it in Kansas, Ohio, Texas (*yes, remember, for all his loudness and media exposure later, McLeroy snuck in as a school board member*) and Dover.

This could be nothing, or it could be that there is a school board member or few who are harboring some creationist plans, or who may even be aware of an active Freshwater type.

I will be forwarding the link to someone I know at Emory University School of Medicine. I do not know offhand if that person lives in Fulton County.

fusilier said:

Everybody,

I’m convinced that Robert Byers has an organic problem, and deserves sympathy and consideration.

He’s no FL.

Skraal, you sound like SIL #1. Did you ever write a note to the British Museum correcting their display on Joan of Arc? ;^) ;^) ;^)

fusilier James 2:24

1) I agree about Byers. I feel that it is dangerous to “praise” creationists, because when I have tried to give them some credit for the tiniest bit of honesty or decency in the past, they have jumped up and disappointed me as rapidly as possible.

Having said that, Byers’ comments are indeed free from threats and insults, and he does not use obsessive volume as a weapon. In addition, although his spelling, grammar, and logic are flawed (although not much below average by overall internet standards), he actually honestly presents an alternate creationist explanation, rather than merely trying to “deny evolution” via weasel word and straw man games.

Ironically, as he gives a somewhat honest presentation of creationism, his comments are so transparently wrong that I never even need to rebut them, and other creationists ignore them, too.

2) Skrall was referring specifically to the Salem Witch Trials, not to witchcraft trials in general. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salem_witch_trials.

I am a Fulton Co Georgia resident and I have two children in Fulton Co schools. I will be writing a letter to all school board members. I am open to your suggestions for what to write.

Points I will make. Even though there are state and Federal duplicate laws to these policy statements, it very well may take hundreds of thousands of scarce school budget dollars to get to state or Federal enforcement of those laws. Just remember Cobb Co School’s (adjacent to Fulton Co) fiasco with biology book disclaimer stickers a $400,000 legal fee liability and the recent classic $1,000,000 fiasco in Dover PA. Fulton Co schools are not immune to this kind of inane diversions from proper and appropriate public education. It is prudent for you to continue to protect our limited school resources from these kinds of unproductive folly.

Interesting note. Fulton Co Schools has just transitioned school superintendents. The new one starts July 1. This may have been the opportunistic break the rubes have been waiting for to begin setting the stage for their assault.

Thanks folks.

bobsie said:

I am a Fulton Co Georgia resident and I have two children in Fulton Co schools. I will be writing a letter to all school board members. I am open to your suggestions for what to write.

Points I will make. Even though there are state and Federal duplicate laws to these policy statements, it very well may take hundreds of thousands of scarce school budget dollars to get to state or Federal enforcement of those laws. Just remember Cobb Co School’s (adjacent to Fulton Co) fiasco with biology book disclaimer stickers a $400,000 legal fee liability and the recent classic $1,000,000 fiasco in Dover PA. Fulton Co schools are not immune to this kind of inane diversions from proper and appropriate public education. It is prudent for you to continue to protect our limited school resources from these kinds of unproductive folly.

Interesting note. Fulton Co Schools has just transitioned school superintendents. The new one starts July 1. This may have been the opportunistic break the rubes have been waiting for to begin setting the stage for their assault.

Thanks folks.

Good for you. I hope you can get them to listen to reason. I don’t know exactly what argument would be most persuasive, but I would recommend using the phrase “Dover trap” and mentioning the financial costs of breaking the law over and over.

Bobsie - you might also ask the simple question, “which state law covers it?”

If the school board cannot tell you, that is a prima facie reason to keep the district policy. And if they can, you can read it for yourself and see whether they are right about the local policy being redundant or not.

kk said:

OgreMkV said:

Doesn’t Federal law supersede all this anyway… provided that they follow it and don’t interpret it.

According to Jefferson the federal government has no authority in this area.

I think Jefferson would disagree with you on several levels.

One of the duties of the federal government is to see that the Constitution is upheld. If people use this situation to violate the separation of church and state, then the federal government is obligated to intervene if no one at the city, county or state level has already done so.

robert van bakel said:

Dear Mr Byers I am not a member of your club (country) but I know enough to say that the statement, ‘America has lived hundreds of years with no problems, pretty much, between the state and church!’ is so monumentally stupid as to make most honest Americans blush!

The Salem witch burnings? Admittedly the 1690’s and before independence, but a theme was woven. Of course the British were far more scientific in their evaluations of witch burning, and refused most accusations; the colonials were just nuts and burned everyone. The 1960s and the ‘freedom train’? Black oppression, no state-church problem. Your ‘schoolboy’ history is tiring and dull; grow up; read, you numbskull!

Sir! You are of that tribe that refuses to read. That peculiar animal that can reside in a civilisation (of sorts) and not use that civilisations gifts; libraries, learning institutions, books etc. Your tiny existance revolves around the ever diminishing hope that somewhere, someone can actually give you some remedial piece, of a tiny glimmer of non-existant fluff, to put in the face of intelligent people, and say, ‘look, a rabbit in the cambriam!’ Rob.

Actually booby Byers is a Canadian.

robert van bakel said: … is so monumentally stupid …

Byers is well recognized as a monument in this regard. One would be reluctant to characterize any creationists as intelligent, but some do have a certain determined low cunning. Alas Byers is not even in that league.

harold,

My SIL#1 has a MA in medieval history from Boston Univ., and missed out on his doctoral work because he got caught in the middle of some academic politics. His financial burden was overwhelming so he couldn’t go on. :^( Skraal’s comment on the Salem witch trials is nearly identical to many this young man has made to me.

And he DID send a note to the British Museum about errors in the display on Joan of Arc!

fusilier

James 2:24

I’m pretty sure that the teaching of religion in public-funded schools is illegal according to the constitution.

Depending on what you mean by “teaching of religion,” it could be perfectly legal. It would be perfectly legal to teach about religion, for example, teaching that there are X major religions and Y minor ones in the world, major religion A started around xxxx date, and its principal teachings are a,b, and c. Or you can legally teach about the influence of religion in history or litertaure or art. What you can’t do is teach that X religion (or the religious hypothesis in general) is true. But nobody wants to do that. Putting together academically-respectable, doctrinally neutral material about religion or its influence is hard work and some people are lazy. The godbots wouldn’t want such a course because it would expose their children to other religions without privileging their own. The non-religious, though they might approve in principle of academically-respectable courses involving religion, haven’t fallen off the turnip truck and don’t believe that teachers in Armpit Mississippi will hew to the straight and narrow path of academic honesty. Which is too bad.

fusilier said:

harold,

(My SIL#1) DID send a note to the British Museum about errors in the display on Joan of Arc!

fusilier

James 2:24

That reminds me,

overheard at a barbeque in Medieval France

“Joan of Arc burnt my steak.”

“Don’t talk with your mouth full, dear. That’s how rumors start.”

The large transsexual presence in the city of Atlanta has much to do with the forcing of the Gospel out of Fulton County schools.

Hygaboo Andersen said:

The large transsexual presence in the city of Atlanta has much to do with the forcing of the Gospel out of Fulton County schools.

I already liked transsexuals. Now I like them even better!

RBH wrote:

Second, he makes a recommendation that I’m going to follow up on:

If you are in a district that has been embroiled in church/state messes, you might drop a note to tell my district how helpful clear policy can be. It means less head-butting, fewer lawsuits, and fewer distractions from the education of our kids.

I will surely do that, given the Freshwater affair in my own district.

*********************************************************

Hi Richard,

Any chance that you will copy your letter to the comments section here?

bobsie said:

I am a Fulton Co Georgia resident and I have two children in Fulton Co schools. I will be writing a letter to all school board members. I am open to your suggestions for what to write.

I think the outline you gave above is just right.

CMB said: Any chance that you will copy your letter to the comments section here?

Sure, when I get them written and sent. Probably this evening.

robert van bakel said:

JimNorth, I believe FogHorn would say; ‘boy, I say boy, now pay attention boy, you might learn something’.

Actually, Foghorn J. Leghorn would start a phrase, insert the ‘I say’ then repeat the phrase and continue. Kind of like a blues lyric, sort of. He rarely put ‘boy’ in with ‘I say’…if ever. That phrasing became a meme because those two parts typify Mr. Leghorn’s speech pattern. Googling returned no original quotes for ‘boy, I say boy’.

Perhaps, I say, perhaps the local school board may pay attention and learn something from this episode.

This is what I sent to each Board Member individually:

Dear Ms. X:

I have learned that the Fulton County Board of Education intends to eliminate its policies on Teaching of Religion and Separation of Church and State and its procedure concerning Separation of Church and State. I strongly urge you not to do so.

I have read those policies and the procedure, and they provide essential guidance to teachers and administrators. In their absence the District will be exposed to significant risk, particularly litigation risk. My own local public school district, Mt. Vernon City Schools in Knox County, Ohio, recently spent on the order of $1,000,000 dollars in legal fees defending its actions in a church/state situation. That does not count in-kind costs of teacher and administrator time, which were also considerable.

That is a terrible waste of public resources. In these hard economic times those resources are better spent on the education of children. Having appropriate policies and procedures in place and effectively administering them go a long way toward eliminating those kinds of costly and legally risky situations.

Yours,

RBH, Ph.D.

I’m thinking it’s BW time for the delusional piece of shit troll. What say ye?

I add my yea. Well past time.

Dale Husband said:

kk, why should we believe anything you copy and paste here from extremist websites? Why should we believe anything you post at all? If you dismiss what we believe as “leftist propaganda” then we have the right to question what you post as “rightist propaganda”.

I will note one outright lie you posted, to punch a gaping hole in your claims:

Socialism is the main threat to America, not the Christian faith.

Socialism is when the workers have common ownership of the means of production. Not capitalist shareholders, which take most of the profits for themselves rather than share them with the workers. Not the government (that’s Communism, a perversion of socialism that actually defeats its purpose). People who see socialism as a threat are either delusional, being brainwashed by the false assumption that Communism = socialism, or they are cynical manipulators, the very parasites that make so-called free market capitalism unjust by nature.

In a truly just and rational economy, every worker in a corporation would be a stockholder, and there would be NO stockholders that would not be workers. Thus, the corporate executives would be elected to serve the interests of the workers, never themselves or anyone not actually employed by the corporation.

Corporate bailouts and mergers should be banned. Instead, any corporation that falls into bankruptcy should be bought out by the government (NOT OTHER CORPORATIONS) which then would break up the dead corporation’s properties and sell them at auction to individual investors which then can use them to start their own small businesses. With millions of small business owners in the economy instead of a dozen or so giant corporations, people will value their freedom more and defend their rights in all aspects, rather than be content to take orders from those higher in rank without question.

Private corporations under the corporatist system America has now are actually more like fascist dictatorships than like democracies. By contrast, real socialism is economic democracy.

Dale Husband, social libertarian, economic liberal, fiscal conservative.

The point of Obama preventing GM and Chrysler from going under was to keep the expensive union contract in place - which in turn adds way to much in price to their cars. Thus I will never buy a car from either of them. If they failed their assets could have been purchased and their contract with labor renegotiated. This would allow their cars to cost less … same car but with a lower sticker price.

Scalia knows the law, that is why I quote him but Clarence Thomas is my favorite justice. He has figured how to destroy the commerce clause that has allowed unchecked growth of the central government. Who are you to break up ownership or tell others what to do with the property that they own? Pure example of socialism right there when you assume you have that right.

Jefferson life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness from John Locke who showed that the Creator gives us life liberty and property. Denying property rights to others is how socialism works. Very evil.

kk said:

The point of Obama preventing GM and Chrysler from going under was to keep the expensive union contract in place - which in turn adds way to much in price to their cars.

Did Obama actually say that, or are you merely jumping to that unfounded conclusion because your extremist ideology leads you to? How about preventing more unemployement and keeping Detroit from becoming even more poverty striken and crime ridden? Also, didn’t Bush Jr also seek to do bailouts like that? Why not yell at him?

Thus I will never buy a car from either of them. If they failed their assets could have been purchased and their contract with labor renegotiated. This would allow their cars to cost less … same car but with a lower sticker price.

And probably lower quality too, due to the hiring of less experienced workers willing to be paid less. And those assets could have been purchased by foreign investors. I don’t like seeing more and more parts of the American economy being taken over by non-Americans. Do you? If so, I would accuse you of economic treason.

Scalia knows the law, that is why I quote him but Clarence Thomas is my favorite justice.

I remember when Clarence Thomas was appointed to replace Thurgood Marshall. Both were blacks. Prior to that, Bush Sr said he was against racial quotas when it came to hiring for jobs, but he sure found them useful when it served his interests, the hypocrite! And this was even before the Anita Hill blowup that should have prevented Thomas from being confirmed.

You don’t think other justices know the law? Of course they do. Interpretations of the law imply knowledge of it.

He has figured how to destroy the commerce clause that has allowed unchecked growth of the central government.

What commerce clause? If this is part of the actual Constitution, who are you to reject it while claiming to be loyal to the Constitution?

Who are you to break up ownership or tell others what to do with the property that they own? Pure example of socialism right there when you assume you have that right.

Not me, liar. The government of the people, by the people and for the people.

Jefferson life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness from John Locke who showed that the Creator gives us life liberty and property. Denying property rights to others is how socialism works. Very evil.

No, not evil at all, except in your delusional mind. Property rights cannot be absolute, because it takes force to gain them from nature or others and more force to keep them from others, plus property can be used by their owners to harm others or deprive them of their livelihood, directly or indirectly. And socialism is NOT about denying the property rights of those companies that are run by the workers as long as that property is not used to harm others. So that’s another falsehood of yours.

Why can you not attack something you dislike without distorting it first?

Dale Husband said:

kk said:

The point of Obama preventing GM and Chrysler from going under was to keep the expensive union contract in place - which in turn adds way to much in price to their cars.

Did Obama actually say that, or are you merely jumping to that unfounded conclusion because your extremist ideology leads you to? How about preventing more unemployement and keeping Detroit from becoming even more poverty striken and crime ridden? Also, didn’t Bush Jr also seek to do bailouts like that? Why not yell at him?

Thus I will never buy a car from either of them. If they failed their assets could have been purchased and their contract with labor renegotiated. This would allow their cars to cost less … same car but with a lower sticker price.

And probably lower quality too, due to the hiring of less experienced workers willing to be paid less. And those assets could have been purchased by foreign investors. I don’t like seeing more and more parts of the American economy being taken over by non-Americans. Do you? If so, I would accuse you of economic treason.

Scalia knows the law, that is why I quote him but Clarence Thomas is my favorite justice.

I remember when Clarence Thomas was appointed to replace Thurgood Marshall. Both were blacks. Prior to that, Bush Sr said he was against racial quotas when it came to hiring for jobs, but he sure found them useful when it served his interests, the hypocrite! And this was even before the Anita Hill blowup that should have prevented Thomas from being confirmed.

You don’t think other justices know the law? Of course they do. Interpretations of the law imply knowledge of it.

He has figured how to destroy the commerce clause that has allowed unchecked growth of the central government.

What commerce clause? If this is part of the actual Constitution, who are you to reject it while claiming to be loyal to the Constitution?

Who are you to break up ownership or tell others what to do with the property that they own? Pure example of socialism right there when you assume you have that right.

Not me, liar. The government of the people, by the people and for the people.

Jefferson life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness from John Locke who showed that the Creator gives us life liberty and property. Denying property rights to others is how socialism works. Very evil.

No, not evil at all, except in your delusional mind. Property rights cannot be absolute, because it takes force to gain them from nature or others and more force to keep them from others, plus property can be used by their owners to harm others or deprive them of their livelihood, directly or indirectly. And socialism is NOT about denying the property rights of those companies that are run by the workers as long as that property is not used to harm others. So that’s another falsehood of yours.

Why can you not attack something you dislike without distorting it first?

Bush is as guilty on bailouts as Obama. There are 1.3 million more unemployed people today than when Obama got his stimulus money for the economy (not Bush money). Obama’s socialist ideas have failed. GM and Chrysler are still bankrupt. There is zero reason why everyone (you and me) have to have our tax money used to give money to a special group whose only function is to feed campaign contributions to the Democrat Party. They aren’t building cars that people want to buy - THE VOLT as example #1. This is pure socialism and exactly how the USSR worked.

I drive a Jaguar (4 year old S type). Jaguar is high quality and now owned by Tata Motors (Indian company). Lots better quality than the garbage being made by GM and Chrysler.

Clarence Thomas was a victim of a high tech lynching. Black is supposed to mean Marxist - like the Maxine Waters quote I already posted. This is the liberal plantation - modern form of slavery.

-You don’t think other justices know the law?

When an issue rises to the level of the SCOTUS both arguments are well constructed. In Kelo v. City of New London the leftist judges ignored the law and took property away from its rightful owner to benefit a corporation (private use). So the court knew the law but the majority violated it. Exactly as in Everson.

- If this is part of the actual Constitution, who are you to reject it while claiming to be loyal to the Constitution?

if you extend the meaning past original intent then the law is no longer a law but the popular opinion of the Panda Thumbers and if you all change your collective opinion based on eating a bad meal of organic e Coli then the law changes that fast. Zero rules from people with zero sense.

IOW, we now have mob rule and we follow the law of the jungle.

-Property rights cannot be absolute, because it takes force to gain them from nature or others and more force to keep them from others, plus property can be used by their owners to harm others or deprive them of their livelihood, directly or indirectly.

Another way to restate your POV is to say that you enjoying stealing the property of others. Destruction of property rights is a central tenant of Marxism. Once again you demontrate the same point I have been making about you PTers.

-Why can you not attack something you dislike without distorting it first?

So long as you don’t steal what doesn’t belong to you I am happy to live and left live. If was leftist judges on the SCOTUS that legalized the theft of private property to benefit a public corporation in Kelo v. City of New London.

When no value is placed on private property then it is ok to steal it and give it to others. Same thing our socialist president Obama does when he demonizes “the rich” … as if government has first claim on your income. Let me get hold of your bank account and savings and take all your money out. See how you like that.

Can we please put this thread out of its misery? If DH is so fond of arguing with nutjobs, he can go find one pushing a shopping cart on a streetcorner and have a shouting match there.

kk said:

Socialism is the main threat to America, not the Christian faith. For a reality check look at the unemployment rate.

I prefer to think of America as a system of ideals enshrined in our founding documents rather than something which guarentees employment.

Time to pack this thread in.

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