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Tennessee School Districts Say Revealing Islam Lessons May Cost ‘Millions,’ Take Too Darn Long

In Uncategorized on October 2, 2015 at 10:26 AM

Tennessee School Districts Say Revealing Islam Lessons May Cost ‘Millions,’ Take Too Darn Long

Contributing Editor:
ERIC OWENS-The Daily Caller
Education Editor
8:15 AM 09/30/2015

Dozens and dozens of taxpayer-funded Tennessee school districts are refusing to comply with an open records request from a conservative legal nonprofit seeking materials and documents relevant to the way public schools are teaching Islam — primarily to middle schoolers.

The American Center for Law & Justice, a law firm that generally promotes conservative and Christian principles, sent its open records requests to all 146 taxpayer-funded school districts in Tennessee earlier this month, reports The Tennessean, Nashville’s main newspaper.

A Nashville attorney, Chuck Cagle of the law firm Lewis Thomason, has provided almost 80 school districts (all represented by the firm) with a sample letter which district officials are customizing to deny the conservative group’s open records request.

“Our client denies your request in full,” the sample letter reads. “Among many other defects in your demand, the Tennessee Open Records Act only requires that certain public records be made available for personal inspection by Tennessee citizens. See Tenn. Code Ann. § 10-7-503(a)(1)(B). A public records request made by an agent on behalf of a foreign business entity is invalid.”

An attorney for the Washington, D.C.-based American Center for Law & Justice, CeCe Heil, says Cagle is applying his Tennessee law all wrong.

“We deal with government entities regularly and anticipate the necessity of engaging in negotiations pertaining to the actual documentation received,” Heil told The Tennessean in an email. “Our open records requests are valid and signed by an attorney who is a citizen of Tennessee.”

Also, Heil noted, the ACLJ is requesting the records because anxious Tennessee parents contacted its attorneys.

The ACLJ’s open records request is definitely broad. The conservative activist group is seeking every test, every quiz, every lesson plan, every study guide and every bit of instructional material concerning the teaching of religion in all Tennessee public school districts. The request specifies anything asking students to recite words in Arabic or to say or write Muslim prayers. It also seeks internal communications concerning how classroom materials were chosen.

“I’ve never seen a records request that asked for this volume of information in 25 years of practicing law,” Cagle, the professional school district lawyer, complained.

Cagle has also claimed that compliance with an open records request about what schools are teaching is not feasible because it will take too long to respond and cost too much money.

“On the front end, this could cost school boards hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars to respond to this request,” Cagle told Nashville NBC affiliate WSMV.

The open records request is related to a grassroots reaction among parents — primarily evangelical Christian parents — against what they perceive as an inappropriate focus on Islam in history and social studies courses in Tennessee middle schools.

Earlier this month, for example, parents in the Nashville suburb of in Spring Hill expressed alarm because their public middle school children are learning about Islam in a world history class but, the parents say, the course material pointedly ignores Christianity. (RELATED: Public School Parents Angry After Middle Schoolers Instructed To Write ‘ALLAH IS THE ONLY GOD’)

Mad mom Brandee Porterfield, who has a seventh-grade daughter at Spring Hill Middle School in Spring Hill, Tenn., said her daughter came home with world history schoolwork all about the Five Pillars of Islam and other core teachings of the Abrahamic religion. The first and most important pillar — the shahada in Arabic — is roughly translated as: “There is no god but God. Muhammad is the messenger of God.” Porterfield said her daughter’s teacher instructed the girl to write: “Allah is the only God.”

A petition initiated by the American Center for Law & Justice entitled “Stop Islamic Indoctrination in School” had garnered 201,505 signatures as of early Wednesday morning.

A spokesman for the Islamic Center of Nashville, Rashed Fakhruddin, said he thinks both the ACLJ’s open records request and the claim that schools are teaching too much Islam are preposterous.

“I don’t know if this is meant to be a witch hunt, but all of the religions — Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism — they’re being taught in the schools,” Fakhruddin told WSMV.

In addition to Islam, students in Tennessee public schools also study Buddhism and Hinduism. However, they do not study Christianity per se. There is not, for example, one class day dedicated to the basic Jesus story.

A Spring Hill school district official promised that students eventually come across a reference to Christianity when history teachers reach the “Age of Exploration” in eighth grade. Then, students will hear about Christians persecuting other Christians in some countries in Western Europe.

Source of info: I would encourage you to visit the site below and subscribe to their site. It is full of other interesting articles.
http://dailycaller.com/2015/09/30/tennessee-school-districts-say-revealing-islam-lessons-may-cost-millions-take-too-long/

BCN Note: In the meantime WE THE PEOPLE must approach our personal school districts and request the information ourselves. You know what to do! Go!!!

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ACLJ sending open records requests to all school districts in TN regarding teaching of Islam

In Uncategorized on September 23, 2015 at 9:03 AM

ACLJ sending open records requests to all school districts in TN regarding teaching of Islam

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The American Center for Law & Justice, a legal advocacy group for conservative Christian causes, is sending open records request letters to all Tennessee school districts for information on teaching Islam, reports The Tennessean.

State Senate Education Chairman Dolores Gresham, meanwhile, is calling on the state Department of Education to caution all schools against Islamic indoctrination.

In a recent meeting held by the Bradley Ministerial Association in Bradley County Tn, the notion seems to be, based on a series of comments, Islam will be taught as a “tool” for learning. The school leaders stated that they must teach to the standards which contains the teaching of Islam, to include memorizing the Shahada and the 5 Pillars of Islam. Now we will see if they intend to teach it.

Many schools and parents are reporting a series of teachings accumulating to 3 and 4 weeks on the study of Islam and other teachings. This is indoctrination. We must adhere to the 3 Rs not the 5 Pillars and spend our time wisely. Our kids could learn alot of other things within that extra month of study beside being indoctrinated to Islam.

For schools stepping over the line they will more than likely be issued subpoenas for teaching adverse and excessive religious topics in our schools and then be forced to stop or face a lawsuit or jail time.

Much of this Islamic teaching is heavily funded by the likes of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Iran, Qatar and Saudia Arabia to slant the standards to contain a heavy influence of the Middle Eastern Culture.

From the Tennessean:

Cece Heil, Senior Counsel with the ACLJ, said open records requests have gone to all 146 Tennessee public school districts because of the concerns voiced by parents to the organization.

“Although a school may teach curriculum on religion, it must be objective,” Heil said in an email. “It may not prefer one religion over other religions without running afoul of the Establishment Clause. After receiving specific complaints from parents, it seems that some school (districts) may have crossed this line.”

The time and depth Islam has been taught in schools has been scrutinized recently by Tennessee lawmakers and community members representing multiple districts.

The state provides academic standards, which Tennessee Department of Education Commissioner Candice McQueen said are designed to provide a deep understanding of how world religions have affected world history.

…The ACLJ letters are requesting records and information on what students are learning about Islam and other religions, how students are being taught and what resources teachers are using.

News release from Senate Republican Caucus

NASHVILLE – Senate Education Committee Chairman Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville) has requested Tennessee Commissioner Candice McQueen issue a letter instructing local school districts to use caution to ensure that students are educated rather than indoctrinated while teaching religious beliefs and how they impact world history.

The letter comes after recent objections were raised by parents in several Tennessee counties regarding the teaching of Islamic practices in middle school curriculum. Some parents claim their children were required to memorize the five pillars of Islam and to write “Allah is the only God” as part of an assignment.

“Over the past few weeks, members of the General Assembly have received an increasing number of messages from constituents over the curriculum being used in Tennessee 7th grade Social Studies classrooms,” the letter said. “Most of these concerns surround the teaching of Islamic tenets in Tennessee classrooms. While we understand the importance of teaching world history to our students, we must be prudent in our approach so it is clear that we are educating rather than indoctrinating.”

“To help ensure that our State is providing the best quality education to our children we request that the Department of Education issue a letter instructing our local school districts to use caution when teaching religious beliefs and how they impact world history,” the letter concluded.

Here is the last article written on this subject. It shows the local community school leaders more than willing to submit to the teachings of Islam in our schools.

https://bradleycountynews.wordpress.com/2015/09/19/bradley-county-schools-director-cash-says-information-about-islam-is-just-a-tool%e2%80%88teachers-can-use/

Source of information:

http://www.google.com/url?q=http://aclj.org/religious-liberty/more-questions-about-islamic-indoctrination-in-schools&sa=U&ved=0CBUQFjAAahUKEwjTibzYmY3IAhVC1x4KHRBMC8E&usg=AFQjCNHxQQCoOtSGj7d9yc1gXky9u2SqIw

Bradley County Schools Director Cash says “information about Islam is  “just a tool” teachers can use.

In Uncategorized on September 19, 2015 at 8:49 AM

Bradley County Schools Director Cash says “information about Islam is  “just a tool” teachers can use.

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The Cleveland Bradley Ministerial Association conducted a question and answer session recently in Cleveland Tennessee, inviting several local and private education leaders to share topics that are going on in their school systems. 

The association is seeking ministers and educators to come together to unite in their efforts to to enhance goals that will improve literacy scores across the county.

According to the Cleveland Daily Banner, a forum of four local leaders spoke to the group Wednesday: Dr. Bill Balzano, president of Tennessee Christian Preparatory School; Dr. Linda Cash, director of Bradley County Schools; Dr. Jeff Elliott, supervisor of curriculum and instruction for Cleveland City Schools; and Ramona Kim, principal of United Christian Academy.

Among the goals discussed was our county wide literacy rate of around 50 percent, Superintendent Linda Cash called this unacceptable. 

Many of the leaders provided input into what could make our schools better and what could better prepare them to excel and prepare them for college and beyond.

In summary from the Cleveland Daily Banner article, among the subjects listed to raise the schools literacy rates were promoting Coach Dungys book, “An Uncommon Life”, Read 20, dance and music classes, the “one-to-one initiative”, early reading and math, improving graduation rates and ACT scores, walkingthe halls praying, providing meals for teachers, landscaping schools, learning of their personal faiths, the K-12 program, etc.

After the introduction and small talk, in a question and answer session, the blended group was directed to Common Core, referring to the The Shahada and the 5 pillars of Islam being taught in public schools by an unnamed group member.

The Cleveland Daily Banner said the organizations unnamed member asked the school leaders about the religion of Islam being taught in schools, calling it “a harmful virus.” 

“The unnamed source referenced information about Islam allegedly being taught in seventh-grade history classes  in Tennessee public schools.”

TN Christian Preparatory Schools Director Dr Bill Balzano spoke first and said “Though there may be information about something in a textbook, he said one must actually look at an individual teacher’s syllabus and curriculum map to see what will be covered and when.”

“Though TCPS is a Christian school, he noted junior and senior students are taught some passages from Islam’s governing book, the Quran, in their Bible classes. Balzano said students must know what other religions believe in order to effectively defend their Christian faith.”

Jeff Elliott the Cleveland City Schools director of instruction and curriculum said “Cleveland’s schools do not push one religion over the others, and all classes are being taught in accordance with state standards which dictate students learn about religions to help them understand history.”

“Cleveland City Schools has also seen a continually increasing population of students learning English as a second language, and he said schools are seeing more students from families practicing different religions.”

“Elliott said students learning more about other religions can help them better relate to other people.”

“He added churches have the most important roles to play in making sure Christian students are knowledgeable about their faith.”

Most interesting to me during this charade was the comments made by the new Director of Bradley County Schools Linda Cash stating “textbooks which may feature information about Islam are JUST A TOOL teachers can use. They have to follow the standards that tell them to teach about various faiths, but they can use a variety of resources.”

Considering the words of Cash, We have now evolved from a Christian based school system to the teaching of Islam as a “tool” to teach our kids. 

She further stated we have to teach the standards (that contains the creed of Islam) to our children to teach them about other faiths. 

Many would say the the public school system is not who they would prefer teaching their child about faith.  Many parents would gladly take on that task within the family and at their places of worship.

Cash continued, “teachers are not going into a tremendous amount of depth when talking about religion.”

“Nothing is taught in isolation,” Cash said, adding that no one religion is taught without the others. 

I deem it ironic that not too long ago the Christian faith and prayer were literally removed from our schools and now that Islam wants us to be inclusive, we teach all religions now!

Dr Linda Cash has now endorsed the teaching of Islam in our Bradley County Schools. Regarding my own children, they have had little exposure to Islam or other faiths in school to date. With her statement supporting teaching Islam as a tool, it may drastically change the teaching environment as teachers may see her comments as a green light.   

Dr Linda Cashs statements could potentially lead to handing our kids over to the influence and will of Islam.   

Maury County TN Schools, particularly Spring Hill High School has been blasted recently for teaching Shahada and the 5 pillars of Islam, requiring their students to memorize the passage and proclaim Allah as the one and only god and Muhammed his servant and prophet, and then administering TCAP tests covering the subject. They were also told to write it on paper as “Allah is the one and only god and Muhammed is his servant” (see Brietbart news link below) All this under the direction of Common Core standards.

My thoughts are if it’s on TCAP, it must be taught in our schools, all of them. Thus, the emphasis on Dr Cashs words when she said teaching Islam is just a tool for teachers to use when they teach.  

The Shahada is a very dangerous Islamic “prayer” for our children to utter while proclaiming Muhammed as a prophet.

It is multifaceted and has many tentacles and is the creed for Islam. 

In very simple terms, by comparison, it’s basically the Christians version of the “Road to Salvation, the Romans Road, the Sinners Prayer or the path to salvation with specified duties to live a faithful life.

In Islam, to become a Muslim according to the Koran, the Hadith and the teachings of Muhammed you must say a prayer or passage to gain entrance to Jennah (Paradise) and to become a devout follower of Allah via Muhammed. That prayer is the Shahada and its proclamation that Allah is the only god and  Muhammed is the prophet. This is the  same prayer that our kids are memorizing and TCAP testing on.

The following is a direct quote from an Islamic website on the subject of Shahada.

“The complete statement of the creed of the Muslim is:
“Ash-shadu anna Laa elaha illa lah. Ash-shadu anna Muhammadar Rasoolulah.” (I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger).

“Every Muslim has been taught that the key to “Jennah” (Paradise) is the statement in Arabic:
  “Laa illaha illa lah.”  (There is none worthy of worship except Allah.) ”

“Many Muslims believe that as long as they have made this statement, nothing will harm them. They think they will be granted Paradise because of this mere verbal statement of the Shahadah.”

“There is no question that the mere saying of the shahadah: “I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger” is not sufficient for salvation.”

The article continues to elude to the fact that some Muslims only believe the Shahada is their path to Paradise when in fact the Pillars of Islam must be followed also. 

“True scholars of Islam are quick to tell us that this testimony of faith is our “Muftah ul Jennah” (Key to Paradise). The famous follower Wahb ibn Munabbih was once asked;
“Isn’t the statement of “La ilaha illa-lah” the key to Paradise?” 

He answered; “YES! But every key has ridges. If you come with the key that has the right ridges, the door will open for you. Yet if you do not have the right ridges the door will not open for you.” 

Much like the Christian faith and the prayer of repentance, the mere words are not enough, but must be followed by the statement of baptism and living the life, such as obeying the 10 Commandments and following the teachings of Jesus and messages of God almighty.

The 9 conditions of the Shahada are known as:
1) Knowledge  
2) Certainty  
3) Acceptance  
4) Submission  
5) Truth  
6) Sincerity  
7) Love  
8) Denial  
9) Adherence

Your kids are memorizing this prayer and proclamation in your schools!

The Five Pillars of Islam is essentially their rule book for Paradise after proclaiming the acknowledgement of Shahada, Muhammed is the prophet.

The 5 pillars from the Hadith of Gabriel:

1) Faith or belief in the Oneness of God and the finality of the prophethood of Muhammad;
2) Establishment of the daily prayers;
3) Concern for and almsgiving to the needy;
4) Self-purification through fasting 
5)The pilgrimage to Makkah for those who are able.
6) The one that is frequently left out for obvious reasons is Jihad or Holy war on non believers.

Your kids unbeknownst to you have unknowingly pronounced their faith to Allah and Muhammed through the Shahada and introduced to the 5 pillars to live as a righteous Muslim. 

It is a stretch but like myself, to become a Christian I professed my sins and asked God to come into my life, and now your child by professing the Shahada and proclaiming Muhammed as his prophet and servant he or she has submitted and made a faith statement to Allah.

Think about it! If we use the same path of accepting Christ and uttering the sinners prayer to become a follower of Christ doesn’t it make sense that now, technically by virtue of a prayer, your child is now a follower of Islam and Allah?   

What an evil and  ingenious indoctrination “tool” to deliver your your children to Allah . What a statement this makes to Islamic leaders who are very aware of what Shahada is and the tools involved in influencing your children.

Your kids under the direction of our esteemed educators and political leaders have created the path, the “tool” to expose and convert millions of our kids and submit them to the will of Allah. 

The above scenario should enrage you! It amazes me at the lack of concern for what is being taught in our schools and the level of acceptance to co-exist with a political ideology that promotes the desire to conquer your country and dominate your religious beliefs. 

Can you imagine the uproar if our schools chose to make our kids memorize the sinners prayer and the path to conversion, follow Jesus Christ, pronouncing him as our Lord and Savior? The roof would be lifted from these schools and every teacher fired but instead your child in essence has been converted to Islam and you stand unknowing and unaware.

Islam and the teachings of Islam has been creeping into our lives and now the conversion has been placed in overdrive. Stunningly, the reactionary silence is deafening.

I personally doubt Dr Cash knows of the extent to which Islam is trying to gain control of our children. I also doubt she knows of the level of
Influence her simple statement can have on our children’s life. But her acceptance of Islam being taught in our schools as a tool is well worth providing her with the knowledge to retract her statement.

Please contact her or the school boards and let her know her words can be very damaging to our kids.

423-476-0620

http://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.bradleyschools.org/mobile/default.asp&sa=U&ved=0CDwQFjAKahUKEwjiyebSiYPIAhVDdR4KHaa_Bto&usg=AFQjCNEq9cyue4sStxdjNB8DINS1pyVxxg

Sources of information: Please take the time to visit the sites below, they are full of great information. 

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/07/21/tony-dungy-i-wouldnt-have-taken-michael-sam/

“Allah is the only god, Muhammed is the prophet, Shahada, 5 Pillars of Islam are the creed of Islam” are being taught in TN Schools most recently in Maury County at Spring Hill High School.

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/09/10/7th-graders-in-tennessee-made-to-recite-allah-is-the-only-god-in-public-school/

http://www.islamtomorrow.com/9points.htm

Disclaimer: As with all my posts they are only my opinion based on researching the facts. My expressed opinions are to be used as a source of information only. I encourage us all to live peacefully and bring no harm to no one. If you choose to act and harm then that choice is solely yours! Have a blessed day and share this article.

Common Core: P20 SLDS, a tracking system for your child

In Uncategorized on May 5, 2013 at 8:38 AM

Common Core-P20 SLDS, a tracking system for your child

SLDS means: Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems.

SLDS is a citizen tracking program, and a grant program, that rewards states financially for participating.  It’s also called P-20, which stands for preschool through age 20 (workforce) tracking.  I see citizen tracking as creepy and Orwellian.  What do you see?

The federal website shows, here– 

http://www2.ed.gov/programs/slds/factsheet.html 

— that SLDS was presented as a financial prize to states, a grant, under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  It sounded good, but in reality, its purpose –besides the uneven redistribution of taxpayers’ money– is to track citizens (students).

The assumption was that everyone everywhere would approve of citizen tracking and would want to be tracked.  A secondary assumption is that the government’s holding detailed, intimate information about its citizens would never be used against anybody wrongly, and that none of this has nothing to do with constitutional rights to privacy.  (For more on that, click here: 

http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/rightofprivacy.html )

I highlighted the first element of data to be collected because it speaks about PII, personally identifiable information.  PII can be a name, a social security number, a blood sample, handwriting sample, a fingerprint, or almost anything else.  The fact that the government included “except as permitted by federal/state law” is VERY significant because the federal Department of Education did the dastardly deed of changing federal privacy law, known previously as the protective, family-empowering, FERPA law.  The Department of Education did this without Congressional approval and are now being sued by the Electronic Privacy Information Center for doing it.  But as it stands now, FERPA has been altered and won’t be put back to its formerly protective state.  So parental rights over children’s data, and parental consent rules, have been cast aside.  –All in the name of getting lots and lots and lots of data available, whether with malignant or benign intention, especially for federal use.

Here it is, pasted directly from the government site and available in English or Spanish:

en Español

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: $250 million

Grantees: States

Type of Grant: Competitive

Purpose:

The program provides grants to states to design, develop, and implement statewide P-20 longitudinal data systems to capture, analyze, and use student data from preschool to high school, college, and the workforce.

Program Requirements:

Since it started in fiscal year 2005, the program has awarded grants worth $265 million to 41 states and the District of Columbia. The Recovery Act competition requires that the data systems have the capacity to link preschool, K-12, and postsecondary education as well as workforce data. To receive State Fiscal Stabilization Funds, a state must provide an assurance that it will establish a longitudinal data system that includes the 12 elements described in the America COMPETES Act, and any data system developed with Statewide longitudinal data system funds must include at least these 12 elements. The elements are:

An unique identifier for every student that does not permit a student to be individually identified (except as permitted by federal and state law);
The school enrollment history, demographic characteristics, and program participation record of every student;
Information on when a student enrolls, transfers, drops out, or graduates from a school;
Students scores on tests required by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act;
Information on students who are not tested, by grade and subject;
Students scores on tests measuring whether they’re ready for college;
A way to identify teachers and to match teachers to their students;
Information from students’ transcripts, specifically courses taken and grades earned;
Data on students’ success in college, including whether they enrolled in remedial courses;
Data on whether K-12 students are prepared to succeed in college;
A system of auditing data for quality, validity, and reliability; and
The ability to share data from preschool through postsecondary education data systems.

BCN Editorial and summation:

An excerpt from the web site below:

http://www.tn.gov/firsttothetop/programs-data.html

“Many conditions in addition to students’ academic experience influence learning and the Tennessee Department of Education will bolster the current longitudinal data system by adding information from other child serving agencies like the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services to inform best practices and help reduce achievement gaps in the near- and long-term.”

This is a compilation of sensitive information, from different federal agencies, being placed in your child’s P 20 database, to follow him or her into adulthood, possibly contributing to an influence on their job hunt with eventual prospective employers. 

It used to be water under the bridge if your child was unfortunately molested, abused or had some behavioral type problem. It used to be hopeful that enough time would elapse between the event and adulthood and the issue would be long dealt with and forgotten. 

Today,with the assistance of the P20 database, this information will follow your child well  into adulthood and be in full display for every teacher and employer to view and make employment decisions based on this data.

The site further explains,
“Tennessee will build a longitudinal student data system that will push the frontier in collection and utilization of P20 data and promote improvements in program administration and educational outcomes. The initiative will significantly increase teacher, school, and district-level use of near-real time student data by employing sophisticated, as yet underutilized longitudinal data for predictive and retrospective identification of student achievement growth and academic risk factors.”

Perhaps the P20 will get as invasive as Common Core amasses large amounts of personal information about students. Michelle Malkin cites research by Joy Pullmann of the Heartland Institute, who discovered a report by the Department of Education revealing that Common Core’s data mining includes “using cameras to judge facial expressions, an electronic seat that judges posture, a pressure-sensitive computer mouse and a biometric wrap on kids’ wrists.”

“Pushing the frontier”, “real time data”, “as yet underutilized data collection.” This tells me that many, yet not mentioned data points will be collected on your child. Perhaps, religious affiliation, blood type, DNA map, fingerprints or parents affiliations or political leanings. I don’t know but the “frontier” is wide open and once established the sky could be the limit.

Source of info:

http://whatiscommoncore.wordpress.com/2012/10/23/what-is-slds-and-why-should-i-care/

P20 database program:
http://www.tn.gov/firsttothetop/programs-data.html

http://m.christianpost.com/news/common-core-cirriculum-a-look-behind-the-curtain-of-hidden-language–92070/

I encourage you to visit this blog frequently. It is full of information on this subject.

While BCN interjected opinion into the article above the whatiscommoncore.wordpress.com blog is to receive full credit for their content. 

State Representatives: Action not words against ACLU lawsuits on local Tennessee school boards over religion

In Government on January 4, 2012 at 6:54 AM

Over the last year I have witnessed school after school fold to the pressures of the ACLU. Soddy Daisy and Rhea County high schools most recently. The usual case is one person is offended by prayer either on the sports field or in the classroom and that is reported to the ACLU! I believe more often than not this person is a plant to divide the schools! In the two schools above it was rumored it was the same person complaining at both schools. It appeared the goal was set and obtained by one person.

I attended a rally in Soddy Daisy in support for school prayer on a football field. I was a little disappointed, thousands showed up and the park was full but it resulted in little more than a church service. No petitions, no long list of supporters signing or opposition that would amount to change. No goals,
No next step! Alot of effort, no result!

I contacted the Rhea County school board and superintendent and I couldnt get them to react! No resistance whatsoever! Nothing!

So here we are, essentially doing whatever the ACLU directs us to do.

Often was the case and it was muttered in a few of the conversations I had with school board leaders was “it will get too expensive for us to fight it. And that was that. The bottom line is the the bottom line!

I say we react back with a “shock and awe” of our own! Let’s overwhelm the ACLU with multiple lawsuits from many school districts. Multiple appeals, lawsuits that will put them in the same hole that we are in, cash strapped! Better yet, let’s call on the Department of Education to protect our kids! Now that is an original thought! Why does the DOE get an easy pass and are not defending local school systems, after all “its for the kids isn’t it! God knows they got enough of our money! Let’s spend it wisely for a change. Send a very strong message back to them, “mess with our kids and you mess with a whole slew of sue happy parents, school boards and blue haired grandmas with a purpose!”

Let’s force our State Legislators to stand up for the kids! When was the last time you heard of any legislator propose or pass legislation to protect our kids from the ACLU! Someone please tell me! I think too often we let our legislators slide and noone holds them accountable when it is warranted! After all are they not the “protector” of the state and our rights! One thing I do know for sure is they definitely have the ability to do more than they are currently doing!

Let’s do more than talk about this. Let’s contact our Representatives today. For the Bradley County area it is Eric Watson (author of the letter below) and Kevin Brooks. Call or email them today and demand something be done!

We have stood back and watched them too long, let’s set forth legislation to stop these attacks on our liberties. We can afford no longer to be politically correct, we must act and act now!

ACLU bringing lawsuits against local school boards over religion
by ERIC WATSON, State Rep.

The American Civil Liberties Union is at it again. The ACLU has brought lawsuits against local school boards in Tennessee, with the intent to limit students and teachers’ rights regarding religion. If you have attended any school-related events lately, you may have noticed in some cases the prayer has been replaced by a “moment of reflection” or a “moment of silence.”

In one school system, which has been under attack by the ACLU, fed-up parents began reciting the Lord’s Prayer prior to a football game and the entire stadium participated!

One of my general rules is local school boards should control education policy. However, it may be time to lay down some restrictions on the ACLU’s ability to dictate school board policy through aggressive lawsuits.

Here is the problem. Local school boards have limited funds. When the ACLU files a lawsuit, it is easy for local school boards to react in panic and begin changing local policy to avoid or settle lawsuits. This area of the law isn’t clearly defined.

In Wallace v. Jaffree (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wallace_v._Jaffree,1985), the Supreme Court ruled Alabama’s law permitting one minute for prayer or meditation was unconstitutional. Courts have ruled that school children are in a controlled environment and therefore public institutions must be very guarded in allowing any religious expression. While adjustments and carefully crafted laws have allowed moments of silence, recently things have taken a turn for the worse.

Tennessee teachers have been disciplined for standing near football players while praying before a game and some teachers have been told not to bow their head during the moment of meditation that begins the school day. Believe it or not, in at least one Tennessee school system, a pastor or youth pastor is now prohibited from having lunch at school with a member of his church.

In the coming session, we will be considering legislation to strike a balance between student and teachers’ rights and the need to avoid establishing a state religion. We will hear from Constitution experts, teachers, students and even the ACLU.

Today’s students face many challenges. Teachers are under tremendous pressure to meet test score goals. At the same time, we are limiting the ability of teachers to build meaningful relationships with students.

Our teachers are professionals and are certainly capable of deciding appropriate communication and discussions with students without the heavy hand of the ACLU being involved. At a time when teachers are often a stabilizing force in a child’s life, do we really want teachers to fear sharing words of wisdom and comfort with students? If a child is having a tough time at home, do we really want to prohibit a pastor from dropping by at lunch? These new policies are so outrageous, how long will it be before a youth pastor sues for his right to have lunch with a church member?

This area seems to be a place where a statewide policy is needed. I will keep you posted as we move forward. Let me know what you think, and as always thank you for the honor and privilege of serving you in the Tennessee House of Representatives.

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