Tag: public schools

June 20, 2016 / Entanglement
official image of Sarah Fowler - member of the Ohio State Board of Education from District 7
Sarah Fowler – member of the Ohio State Board of Education from District 7

The Ohio State Board of Education, although not as bad as some state boards like in Kansas, has had it share of religious conservatives. Most of the time these people try to push a religious agenda into the public schools like creationism. A member from North East Ohio tried to get the board involved in the issue of transgendered people using public school bathrooms. It makes me wonder how someone who distrusts the government so much would want to work for it

June 16, 2016 / Entanglement
image of a young girl praying from freeimages.com

Obvious violations of the first amendment in public schools can include a sign with an obvious religious message, a teacher proselytizing, or a school promoted event sponsored by a religious group that includes a sermon or prayer. There are, however, many smaller violations going on all the time that might be harder to see or stop. It takes all of us, checking into our local schools, to police these minor violations and to educate people about the 1st amendment.

Zack Kopplin wrote in ThinkProgress about the efforts of Focus on the Family to infiltrate public schools under the radar:

May 6, 2016 / Entanglement
screencap of Genoa (OH) High School Principal Cari Buehler
Genoa (OH) High School Principal Cari Buehler

This week the Genoa Ohio Local Schools removed an obvious religious sign posted in the High School that demanded the viewer to ‘Follow Christ’. Thanks to the work of the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) the district was reminded of its obligation to church and state separation and acted accordingly. It seems that the High school principal missed the point.

In a public Facebook post on May 1st, Genoa High School Principal, Cari Buehler, complained about having to take down the sign.

April 26, 2016 / Entanglement
image of Religious Message wall sign similar to one seen in Genoa OH High School
Religious Message wall sign similar to one seen in Genoa OH High School

While watching local TV news on March 21st, during a story about a Genoa Ohio high school student who died in a traffic accident, the station reporter interviewed Cari Buehler, the high school principal, in front of a sign with an ‘inspirational’ message on it. Too bad it was a religious message. Now the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) is asking the school district to remove the sign.

The interview was on WTOL in Toledo, Ohio and the screencap below shows the religious sign.

March 22, 2016 / Entanglement
image of Ohio House of Represenatives in session
Ohio House of Represenatives in session. Photo by Joshua Rothaas Used with permission.

In Ohio, Substitute HB 425, also known as the Ohio Student Religious Liberties Act seems to codify rights in state law that public school students currently enjoy from the 1st amendment of the US Constitution and that have been affirmed through various court cases over the years. Why would a GOP majority seem to want to protect religious freedom for students? To give cover to discriminate and bully LGBT students of course.

A majority of the HB 425 just rehashes current legal precedents covering religious freedom in the public schools. As the Columbus Dispatch put it:

June 5, 2015 / Entanglement
logo for the University of Toledo sports teams

Last week I posted about a letter the Freedom From Religion Foundation sent to the President of the University of Toledo complaining about the head football coach Matt Campbell being seen, in a video, leading a prayer before a game in 2012. The Toledo Blade published an editorial, on May 29th, supporting Coach Campbell and I had a letter to the editor published responding to their wrong conclusion.

The Blade editorial seemed to say the only thing wrong was that the prayers were made public when the University posted the video on YouTube.