The ACLU’s Nebraska franchise is demanding that a school district in that state put a stop to prayer at its high school graduation, even though the ceremony is sponsored and run privately by parents. Ten years ago the ACLU targeted Lakeview High School in Columbus, Nebraska, for its graduation prayer, arguing that the practice violates the U.S. Constitution’s supposed separation of church and state. To appease the secular watchdog group, the school district spun off the graduation ceremony to parents, making the ceremony a private event at which they believed prayers would be beyond the ACLU’s self-commissioned purview.
Another Baptist college has caught the attention of the media for enforcing its stated lifestyle policy. A man who insists he has lived as a female since he was a toddler was expelled from California Baptist University in Riverside after he checked “female” as his gender on the school’s online application form. The school, which is associated with the Southern Baptist Convention, took the action after 24-year-old Domaine Javier, who looks like a woman, appeared on an MTV reality show and confessed that he is biologically male. According to the Riverside Press-Enterprise newspaper, letters Javier received from the university explained that he was expelled for “committing or attempting to engage in fraud, or concealing identity,” and for giving false or misleading information during the university’s investigation into the matter.
A Baptist university in Georgia is receiving abundant media attention for a “Personal Lifestyle Statement“ it recently updated, that requires faculty and staff to adhere to a set of biblical standards that include shunning homosexual behavior. Employees have been told that they must either sign the statement as a pledge, or face termination.
A recent Canadian study has confirmed what has been known for over two decades — much to the chagrin of public school officials: Homeschoolers perform better than public school students in the crucial core academic disciplines of reading and math.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) continues its attack on the constitutionally guaranteed right of free speech and religious expression as it targets school districts in Mississippi and Kentucky that have held to their long-time traditions of public prayer. On August 18th the Memphis Commercial Appeal reported that the Wisconsin-based secularist group had sent a letter to the superintendent of the DeSoto County, Mississippi, school district, the largest in the state with 40 schools and 32,000 students, demanding that the district stop allowing prayers at school athletic events and high school graduations.
The University of North Carolina at Wilmington has put out a list of “gay friendly” churches in the area to assist students and faculty in choosing a politically correct place of worship. According to FOX News, the list is part of a “broader guide to gay-friendly businesses, nonprofits, health centers and other services in the area.”
The leading homosexual activist group targeting children is receiving some special help from the federal government in its campaign to recruit in America’s schools. The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) announced in a press release earlier this summer that it has received a five-year grant, worth $285,000 annually, from the federal Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) AIDS prevention department to establish “safe spaces” for supposedly “gay” students in 20 schools across the nation.
A conservative legal advocacy group has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a group of high school students in Roswell, New Mexico, charging that the Roswell Independent School district retaliated against members of a Christian club after they distributed doughnuts with Bible verses to members of the faculty. According to a press release by Liberty Counsel, in addition to giving away doughnuts to teachers, members of the Christian group Relentless in Roswell had, in the past, distributed chicken salad, hot chocolate, and candy canes to both faculty and students. In an effort to use their faith to reach out to others the club had been involved in such projects as assisting teachers with trash in their classrooms, helping fellow students with their trays during lunch, and distributing rocks with encouraging messages such as “U are wonderful” painted on one side and the Bible reference “Psalm 139” on the other.
Minnesota’s Anoka-Hennepin school district (Anoka Middle School for the Arts, pictured left)) is battling legal efforts to force it to abandon an official policy of neutrality concerning homosexuality. Two liberal legal groups, the Southern Policy Law Center (SPLC) and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) recently contacted the district, one of the largest in the Minneapolis area, threatening a lawsuit on behalf of clients they said had faced harassment and abuse as a result of the district’s policy.
Despite threats of an ACLU-driven lawsuit, seniors at Louisiana’s Bastrop High School continued a tradition of prayer at the school’s graduation ceremony. One of the graduates had demanded that the prayer be canceled, and the ACLU had followed up by contacting school officials to make sure the prayer was scratched from the commencement.