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Wednesday, December 08, 2004

On the "Banning" of the Constitution, Etc

I'd like to clear up a few things here. First, the school, principal, etc did NOT BAN the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence or any such thing. What they did do was make this teacher get his lesson plans approved by the administration before he put the lesson plan to work. Now, here in Mississippi this is very common for someone to have to approve a lesson plan before it is taught. Maybe it's an odd thing in CA, I don't know.

Now, the problem they had with his lesson plans in the first place was that the teacher was taking excerpts from the various founding documents and making handouts with JUST these excerpts on them. These excerpts ONLY contained references to God or a Creator, etc, that were in the founding documents he was using.

What started this all off? Of the preceding paragraph, I am certain of its veracity.
But as to what precipitated the actions of the administration, I’m not 100% sure. However, based on early reports of the situation, and hearing personally from some of the involved people, what happened is as follows:

The administration had received previous complaints from parents and students that Mr. Williams had been, basically, proselytizing in his classroom. At some point before the administrative screening began, a student asked Mr. Williams why he had to say “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance. In response, Mr. Williams made the handouts with excerpts from certain founding documents which supported his case that America was wholly founded as a Christian nation, and that was why this student had to say “under God” in the pledge.

I’m not trying to start a fight here. I believe that we were, basically, founded on Judeo-Christian values. I believe in God. I believe in lower taxes and strong families. I believe in States’ Rights and gun ownership. But I do not believe that teachers should be evangelizing students as a captive audience in a public school. If this is what happened, and again, I don’t know with 100% certainty that it did, then the school has every right to keep an eye on him.

My only real point here is that before a mob is started to torch the school (metaphorically speaking), I think we should know ALL the facts involved. And if a school DID ban the Constitution, DoI, etc on religious or ANY grounds, I would be first in line to demand that its certification and funding be withdrawn as it would not be able to teach history with any truth. However, even though I don’t have every fact, I DO know that that is NOT what happened in this case. So please, before we all have arteries popping, calm down and wait for all the facts to come out.


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