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heartlikealion

Club upset they have to meet outside school hours

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Oh, brother 

https://www.wlbt.com/2019/09/11/tylertown-students-walk-out-classes-protesting-end-religious-based-program/

They call it a program but I think it sounds like basically a religious club. 

Edited: the school is apparently for grades 7-12, hence the comment about one student’s sixth year there. 

Edited by heartlikealion

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Oh brother is right.

Sounds like the kind of story that will probably be on a certain cable news channel today. This kind of thing is always framed as a war on Christianity. Nevermind that there is no reason to have a church worship group at a public school during school hours anyway. 

 

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On Facebook one commenter told me only school officials can’t lead prayer so this is not violating a church and state rule... I said well clubs should meet after hours and they even had speakers come?? 

I admit there’s a gray area sometimes with extracurriculars... I had a class period for newspaper staff in high school. Some schools might have a yearbook class. One year my school switched basketball to a class so I left the team. I needed to take keyboarding that period. 

But this is not what I’d call school sponsored like the yearbook. I still think it was wrong to make basketball a class. 

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My high schools always had clubs that met at lunch, and at one high school the only one that was treated poorly was the Bible Club. They were made to change the name because the new principal said it was illegal to say "Bible" on the intercom, and the advisor (required) wasn't allowed to say a word during the meeting, even if it weren't religion related. These instances are among other issues that happened to that club because of one discriminatory principal. 

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I wondered what caused the school to suddenly change.  It sounds like this club? program? whatever has been happening for years.  I'm not exactly clear from the linked article as to when this was happening.  If it was during a study hall time or lunch it doesn't seem like it was detracting from the kids studies and wouldn't be a problem.  I'm guessing that this was something that had been going on for years until someone decided to complain and therefore now it has to be gone.  

Of course, I'm from the era when religious class happened once a week in the classroom when I was in elementary school and then during middle school we had to walk a block down to the church (during school hours) because we weren't allowed to have the class in the school building.   So we met there, had the class and then walked back to the school.  Those who didn't want to participate stayed at the school or (during elementary school) went to the library instead.  

My snarky side wants to respond with a comment about pep rallies occurring during the school day.  I'm probably very biased but a worship meeting is probably helping more kids to become better people than the obnoxiousness that is a pep rally.  

Edited by JanOH
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21 minutes ago, JanOH said:

during middle school we had to walk a block down to the church (during school hours) because we weren't allowed to have the class in the school building.   So we met there, had the class and then walked back to the school.  Those who didn't want to participate stayed at the school or (during elementary school) went to the library instead.

Interesting! This exact situation is the background in the (great) book Wednesday Wars, by Gary Schmidt. I hadn't encountered it in real-life.

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53 minutes ago, kdsuomi said:

My high schools always had clubs that met at lunch, and at one high school the only one that was treated poorly was the Bible Club. They were made to change the name because the new principal said it was illegal to say "Bible" on the intercom, and the advisor (required) wasn't allowed to say a word during the meeting, even if it weren't religion related. These instances are among other issues that happened to that club because of one discriminatory principal. 

 

My son's middle school has most of their clubs meeting during lunch, yes.  It is very difficult for bussed kids to participate in clubs that meet after school and so the schools have changed to allow more of their kids, and not just the privileged who live close/have a parent that doesn't work to participate.

 

Edited by vonfirmath
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We had Weekly Religious Education in Elementwry school. The whole grade (except for the kids who's parents didn't want them to participate, who stayed at school) walked down to the little Mennonite Church on the corner. Protestant kids went to a couple of classrooms and memorized Bible verses and sorted food items and clothing for missions, the Catholic kids went to catechism in a different room, and the one Jewish kid in my class went to the pastor's office and studied Hebrew with someone from the Synagogue. In Jr/Sr high there were religious clubs and groups like FCA, which met after school, at lunch, or during homeroom. Pretty much you could have any club as long as you had a faculty sponsor and a half dozen kids who wanted to do it. 

 

A lot of schools here have Kids Beach Clubs, which are kind of like once a week VBS. The kids who sign up either walk to a nearby church after school or the church runs a van to the school, and they do VBS type activities, and have tutoring and homework rooms. Usually parents are encouraged to come and stay for dinner and Weds night church/AWANA/Royal Ambassadors. Middle and high schools tend to have Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Campus Life, and similar groups.

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1 hour ago, JanOH said:

I wondered what caused the school to suddenly change.  It sounds like this club? program? whatever has been happening for years. 

Maybe a lawsuit was threatened? I looked up several other articles on this and none of them had much information. Some said there was no indication what caused the change.

1 hour ago, JanOH said:

Of course, I'm from the era when religious class happened once a week in the classroom when I was in elementary school

 

30 minutes ago, dmmetler said:

We had Weekly Religious Education in Elementwry school.

I'm always curious about statements like these because I never experienced it. I'm older than most people here and never had religious education in public school. I wonder if it depended on location. I went from K to 8th grade in New Jersey from 1960 to 1969. The first 5 of those years was in Catholic school so of course we had religious education. I was put in public school halfway through 5th grade and there was no prayer or any other type of religious education. We moved to Florida the summer before my 9th grade year. First we moved to  South Florida, then Central Florida a year later where I finished in a 10 - 12 high school. Again, no prayer or religious education.

As for this situation maybe this was the only club that had been allowed to meet during school hours and they finally were stopped. Or maybe other clubs were also told they could no longer meet but they're not protesting. This from the last paragraph of the article says it all, bolding mine.

Walthall County Schools superintendent Wade Carney said district policy states student led organizations can not meet during instruction time. They can continue to meet before or after school.
He said this policy applies to all student organizations not just First Priority.

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1 minute ago, Lady Florida. said:

I'm always curious about statements like these because I never experienced it. I'm older than most people here and never had religious education in public school. I wonder if it depended on location. I went from K to 8th grade in New Jersey from 1960 to 1969. The first 5 of those years was in Catholic school so of course we had religious education. I was put in public school halfway through 5th grade and there was no prayer or any other type of religious education. We moved to Florida the summer before my 9th grade year. First we moved to  South Florida, then Central Florida a year later where I finished in a 10 - 12 high school. Again, no prayer or religious education.

I'm sure it depended on location.  I grew up in rural Ohio in a very small school district. There were 60 in my graduating class.  It wasn't even small town, I mean there were two tiny towns, the elementary school was in one, the middle School in the other and the high school in between.  We were mainly farm kids.

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10 minutes ago, JanOH said:

I'm sure it depended on location.  I grew up in rural Ohio in a very small school district. There were 60 in my graduating class.  It wasn't even small town, I mean there were two tiny towns, the elementary school was in one, the middle School in the other and the high school in between.  We were mainly farm kids.

Where I lived in New Jersey was ethnically diverse, full of European immigrants and their descendants. Most Christians were either Roman Catholic or Greek Orthodox, plus there were quite a few Jewish kids in my school too. 

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They might be permitted to meet during lunch but the club was meeting during a class period once a month at the end of the day... according to a Facebook comment I read. The issue was meeting during instructional time so lunch might be an alternative for them to consider. 

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1 minute ago, heartlikealion said:

They might be permitted to meet during lunch but the club was meeting during a class period once a month at the end of the day... according to a Facebook comment I read. The issue was meeting during instructional time so lunch might be an alternative for them to consider. 

When I taught high school there was a student led bible club that met during lunch. Since that's not instructional time it could be an alternative for them. 

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7 minutes ago, Lady Florida. said:

When I taught high school there was a student led bible club that met during lunch. Since that's not instructional time it could be an alternative for them. 


In our area, many of the kids eat lunch in shifts.  So, some kids have lunch 3rd period, some have it 4th or whatever.

But, we also have late buses, so clubs can meet after school.  However, a student would need to decide between this club and a sport, for example,  Of course, you have to wonder about a kid's priority if they're willing to miss math for a club, but not soccer.  

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3 minutes ago, CuriousMomof3 said:


In our area, many of the kids eat lunch in shifts.  So, some kids have lunch 3rd period, some have it 4th or whatever. 

However, a student would need to decide between this club and a sport, for example,

 

Same here. There are 3 (or maybe 4 by now) lunches. When I taught there were 3 lunches. I don't know how the club handled it. I think it was just a group of kids who had one lunch period who got together for bible study.

When I coached cheerleading there were some girls who played a sport or belonged to a club. At some point they had to decide which one(s) mattered more to them and make a choice. That's just the way it is. You can't do it all. 

 

Edited by Lady Florida.
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I usually wonder what's really going on with articles like these.  Why was the club allowed to meet until now?  What changed?  Is this affecting other groups, and if not, is that purposeful?  Are kids from other groups upset about the change? Is it really practical for students to have after school programs, or does that mean parents need to arrange transportation?  My experience has been that often there is a little more going on behind the scenes that accounts for people being annoyed, even if it is just that there are real personality clashes involved.

I am blasé on a lot of levels with religious meetings like this.  Our schools here generally operate secularly, but the kids still spend a ton of time in assemblies and special classes dedicated to instilling whatever the administration and secular culture thinks their values should be, that I have become pretty cynical about it all.  Most of it is pretty vapid too.

 

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I think it is odd that it is something that has been going on for years and now suddenly there is a crack down.  I can see why high school students are upset about it.  Anytime you take away something it hits a nerve, even if it is something that isn't supposed to have been allowed.  It would be nice to know what was the catalyst for this sudden change.

I remember when I was in high school there was a girl in my grade that wanted to get out of class once a week to attend a Bible study.  The church was across the street from the school so she could walk and not miss more than one class period.  The school had to allow her because, at least at the time, the law was that students had to be allowed a certain amount of time off from school for religious instruction.  I always thought it was a bit odd, especially since we attended the same church and I never really felt the need to miss school for this, but to each their own.  I also know that at the same time frame in a near by city there was a lot of problem with schools not wanting to allow before school Bible studies for students on campus.  The students eventually got a lawyer to draw up a letter for them with something to the effect of if they allow other non-academic clubs on campus that they had to allow this one.

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We had awhile where there were pullouts during class time when kids who wanted to were allowed to go to a nearby church.  It was socially stressful not to be one of the kids going and there were so many going that nothing significant was done during that time because of the kids missing it.  It did seem disruptive of the regular education program.  

I think it stopped a few years ago.

Probably with a new district Superintendent. 

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3 hours ago, SusanC said:

Interesting! This exact situation is the background in the (great) book Wednesday Wars, by Gary Schmidt. I hadn't encountered it in real-life.

 

No. In The Wednesday Wars the school lets students leave early for religious education one day a week. They don't then come back to class. Their school day was over at that point, because their religious education was technically an afterschool activity, just one they left early for. Different situation. We were still doing that in NYC as recently as the 1990s and probably still today, in fact - I'd have to ask my kids.

Of course, the way the school did it in that book was ridiculous. Obviously if you know 95% of your student body will leave early one day a week, you alter the bell schedule for that day. If they normally had 45 minute periods, and on Wednesday they made them all 40 minute periods instead, then last period would end 35 minutes earlier than usual, giving them ample time for that class to meet. They could surely have gotten an exemption for that if they'd tried.

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I think it is odd that it is something that has been going on for years and now suddenly there is a crack down.  I can see why high school students are upset about it.  Anytime you take away something it hits a nerve, even if it is something that isn't supposed to have been allowed.  It would be nice to know what was the catalyst for this sudden change.

 

Having seen a bunch of articles like this over the years, my guess is it's something like this: The rule was always in place that clubs couldn't meet during class time. When this program started, somebody quietly let that slide - perhaps they didn't know the rule, or perhaps they thought that "sharing Christ" was so important that the rules didn't apply to them. Recently, some other student wanted to start their own club during school hours and was turned down, and they pointed out that this religious club was meeting during class time and, rightly, complained. And now the district is enforcing the rules, but some of the Christians who are accustomed to having special rules just for them are whining and fussing and saying "nobody ever complained before, so it must be all right!"

Frankly, Mississippi students can't afford to miss any instructional time.

Edited by Tanaqui
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3 hours ago, JanOH said:

I wondered what caused the school to suddenly change.  It sounds like this club? program? whatever has been happening for years.  I'm not exactly clear from the linked article as to when this was happening.  If it was during a study hall time or lunch it doesn't seem like it was detracting from the kids studies and wouldn't be a problem.  I'm guessing that this was something that had been going on for years until someone decided to complain and therefore now it has to be gone.  

Of course, I'm from the era when religious class happened once a week in the classroom when I was in elementary school and then during middle school we had to walk a block down to the church (during school hours) because we weren't allowed to have the class in the school building.   So we met there, had the class and then walked back to the school.  Those who didn't want to participate stayed at the school or (during elementary school) went to the library instead.  

My snarky side wants to respond with a comment about pep rallies occurring during the school day.  I'm probably very biased but a worship meeting is probably helping more kids to become better people than the obnoxiousness that is a pep rally.  

 

When I was in elementary school we had “release time” every Thursday afternoon where all the kids who went to the Baptist church two blocks away or the Catholic Church that was further away but sent a bus left for religious education. Those of us who went to other churches or no church stayed and helped the teacher organize files and change bulletin boards and had our religious education (or not) on evenings and weekends.

It was eliminated while my little brother was still in school, and I’m pretty sure my mother was one of the parents who complained about losing three hours of education time every week and stigmatizing the 3-4 kids in each class who didn’t leave. (It was a very Catholic neighborhood.)

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The only special privilege I recall is that as Catholics we could be excused for coming in late or were allowed to leave early on Ash Wednesday. I always wanted to do that but my mother wouldn't allow it. She made us go to the evening Mass, which meant my brother and I didn't get to strut around with ashes on our forehead like our fellow Catholic students. Sometimes I would carefully wash my face around the ash mark so I could go in with it the next day but unfortunately it wasn't as cool by then because it was no longer Wednesday. 😄 

Edited by Lady Florida.
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My school  had a lot of Mennonite kids, because they did not have an elementary school at the time. I suspect that helped, as did the fact that it gave the teachers a free prep period without the school having to provide coverage. We really didn't have any kids who didn't participate, and the hosting school was more than willing to give space to other groups (I rather wished I could have gone with Aaron-the Protestant class was pretty boring, and Hebrew looked a lot more interesting).  I don't know if the other schools did it to quite the same degree. My neighborhood was almost all faculty families from the university and Mennonite college/Seminary, so even the less religious families usually saw value in their kids reading the Bible as a text and helping the less fortunate. 

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5 hours ago, JanOH said:

I wondered what caused the school to suddenly change.  It sounds like this club? program? whatever has been happening for years.  I'm not exactly clear from the linked article as to when this was happening.  If it was during a study hall time or lunch it doesn't seem like it was detracting from the kids studies and wouldn't be a problem.  I'm guessing that this was something that had been going on for years until someone decided to complain and therefore now it has to be gone.  

Of course, I'm from the era when religious class happened once a week in the classroom when I was in elementary school and then during middle school we had to walk a block down to the church (during school hours) because we weren't allowed to have the class in the school building.   So we met there, had the class and then walked back to the school.  Those who didn't want to participate stayed at the school or (during elementary school) went to the library instead.  

My snarky side wants to respond with a comment about pep rallies occurring during the school day.  I'm probably very biased but a worship meeting is probably helping more kids to become better people than the obnoxiousness that is a pep rally.  

This is similar to my experience growing up in a very Catholic area in the rural Midwest. During elementary school, once a week the Catholic kids walked a few blocks to the church for CCD class. The remaining kids had an extra recess. My public middle school was in the old Catholic high school and was still connected to the convent next door which was connected to the church. Divided by gender, we went through the connecting tunnel once per week to the convent for confirmation class taught by a nun. The non Catholics had study hall.

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In the 1990s in Western NY we still had the Catholic schools dismissing early on Wednesdays so the public school kids could come to the school for CCD (religious education classes). I think the public schools let the Catholic kids out early but the rest of the school was in session.

(Totally off topic- to this day I don't know of much that causes as much conflict in parishes with schools as when the public school kids use the Catholic school classrooms for CCD. I taught CCD in our last parish (although now it is in the evening) and we used the school classrooms. We were constantly accused of theft and destruction. Sometimes it even happened that we would be accused of things that happened in the classroom when we hadn't even met a particular week. Nothing brings out the Christian charity like letting those rotten public school kids use the desks that belonged to the tuition paying kids. LOL. I remember it when I was a kid and it is still a thing.)

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5 hours ago, JanOH said:

I wondered what caused the school to suddenly change.  It sounds like this club? program? whatever has been happening for years.  I'm not exactly clear from the linked article as to when this was happening.  If it was during a study hall time or lunch it doesn't seem like it was detracting from the kids studies and wouldn't be a problem.  I'm guessing that this was something that had been going on for years until someone decided to complain and therefore now it has to be gone.  

Of course, I'm from the era when religious class happened once a week in the classroom when I was in elementary school and then during middle school we had to walk a block down to the church (during school hours) because we weren't allowed to have the class in the school building.   So we met there, had the class and then walked back to the school.  Those who didn't want to participate stayed at the school or (during elementary school) went to the library instead.  

My snarky side wants to respond with a comment about pep rallies occurring during the school day.  I'm probably very biased but a worship meeting is probably helping more kids to become better people than the obnoxiousness that is a pep rally.  

Kids here have released time education classes--those who want to attend have the released time on their schedule; they leave school, walk to a nearby church owned building for class, then return to school for their next class.

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5 hours ago, JanOH said:

 

My snarky side wants to respond with a comment about pep rallies occurring during the school day.  I'm probably very biased but a worship meeting is probably helping more kids to become better people than the obnoxiousness that is a pep rally.  

I'm just as opposed to pep rallies during instruction time as I am religious meetings during instruction time. 

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2 hours ago, Pen said:

We had awhile where there were pullouts during class time when kids who wanted to were allowed to go to a nearby church.  It was socially stressful not to be one of the kids going and there were so many going that nothing significant was done during that time because of the kids missing it.  It did seem disruptive of the regular education program.  

I think it stopped a few years ago.

Probably with a new district Superintendent. 

Even though I was one of the Catholic ones leaving school for CCD, I can see how this might be the case depending on circumstances. I don’t think it was much of an issue in my small town because Catholics weren’t converting anyone, we were all cradle Catholics. And we went because our parents made us go, not because we wanted to. Plus the remaining kids got an extra recess which we envied. But if it was during middle or high school and the group was made up of more of a proselytizing type denomination, I can imagine scenarios where it could create some undesirable social pressures.

Edited by Frances

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I'm not Mormon, but I'm from an area with a huge Mormon population.  It's common for Mormon churches to build a building across the street from high schools (not on taxpayer funded property) and as I understand it, the kids can take a religious class there as an elective during the school day and hang out there at lunch.   Seems reasonable to me as long as the schools are open to any other religions/philosophies/groups to do the same thing at their own close, privately funded facility.  

This bunch should stop whining about it being after school hours.  If they're using it after school hours they should have to pay rent. 

I have attended 2 start up churches that met at public school multipurpose rooms on Sundays and we paid rent and maintenance fees.  We don't want or expect the taxpayers to subsidize us with free facilities and insurance.  We fund that ourselves.

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I don't know if they have rotating lunches, that's a good point. As for meeting during lunch hours... well, I don't know if I'd value any club over my lunch LOL I mean can they bring food to the classroom?? Do they meet informally like at a table during lunch? I don't really know how that works.

As far as leaving school early for religious reasons. Well, that's interesting. When I was living in California at a large parish they had CCD on weeknights. Here all the churches around me have it on Sunday before or after a Mass.

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1 hour ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

I'm not Mormon, but I'm from an area with a huge Mormon population.  It's common for Mormon churches to build a building across the street from high schools (not on taxpayer funded property) and as I understand it, the kids can take a religious class there as an elective during the school day and hang out there at lunch.   Seems reasonable to me as long as the schools are open to any other religions/philosophies/groups to do the same thing at their own close, privately funded facility.  

This bunch should stop whining about it being after school hours.  If they're using it after school hours they should have to pay rent. 

I have attended 2 start up churches that met at public school multipurpose rooms on Sundays and we paid rent and maintenance fees.  We don't want or expect the taxpayers to subsidize us with free facilities and insurance.  We fund that ourselves.

If the students meet after school hours they should have to pay rent? I was thinking from a club standpoint... if other clubs meet after school hours and don't pay rent, I don't think they should either. But I have no idea if/what other clubs exist at this school.

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Just now, heartlikealion said:

If the students meet after school hours they should have to pay rent? I was thinking from a club standpoint... if other clubs meet after school hours and don't pay rent, I don't think they should either. But I have no idea if/what other clubs exist at this school.

Yes, if it's religious in nature then no taxpayer funds should be used at all. ever.  That includes the cost to insure, cool,heat, clean, and maintain the facility.  That costs could easily be calculated by how much per hour it costs to run the school. All religious organizations can either pay for the hours they use or go somewhere else. Christians shouldn't mooch and not one penny of tax dollars should ever go to a religious activities whether it's a church, club, activity, whatever.  Taxpayers should never fund any religious activity at all. ever.

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I'd think any club would have to meet outside school hours - otherwise it becomes a "class".

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All clubs we had in jr high/hs school met during lunch or after school. Clubs were outside activities. There was a Christian Club and we used a classroom during lunch to plan service projects, events, do a devotional, and eat at the same time. We met once or twice a month. All clubs were afforded the same accommodations with regard to resources and facilities. I don't think any of it was ever an issue with anyone. The idea that religious clubs would have to pay and secular clubs would not seems problematic. Plus some clubs intersected with political causes and ideologies...but anyone could start a club based on a special interest or cause.

Edited by EmseB
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6 minutes ago, EmseB said:

The idea that religious clubs would have to pay and secular clubs would not seems problematic. Plus some clubs intersected with political causes and ideologies...but anyone could start a club based on a special interest or cause.

It's a separation of church and state issue.

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42 minutes ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

It's a separation of church and state issue.

No, it's really not. I don't have time to get into all the legalities and court precedents, but students are free to do this without bring discriminated against based on their religion. You can have clubs based on race, religion, ethnicity, political issues, community service, favorite hobbies, interests, etc. Students can use school facilities as long as all are afforded equal opportunity. It's not a violation of "separation church and state" for students to gather and pray on school grounds, for example.

 

ETA: this is not about a church or organised religious group renting a school for worship services. These are student-led extra curricular clubs.

ETAA: I just checked my old high school's club page. They have listings for everything from Astronomy, to Latin, to the Muslim Student Association, to the Christian Club, to an improv group, student democrats, student republicans, political debate, MEXA, Freethinkers and on and on and on...probably two or three dozen clubs in total. Some meet after school, some meet at lunch, there are a couple (like Yearbook, dance, choir) that are also considered classes but those are pretty much defined as elective or fine arts credits and are in no way religious or political.

Edited by EmseB
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49 minutes ago, EmseB said:

No, it's really not. I don't have time to get into all the legalities and court precedents, but students are free to do this without bring discriminated against based on their religion. You can have clubs based on race, religion, ethnicity, political issues, community service, favorite hobbies, interests, etc. Students can use school facilities as long as all are afforded equal opportunity. It's not a violation of "separation church and state" for students to gather and pray on school grounds, for example.

 

ETA: this is not about a church or organised religious group renting a school for worship services. These are student-led extra curricular clubs.

ETAA: I just checked my old high school's club page. They have listings for everything from Astronomy, to Latin, to the Muslim Student Association, to the Christian Club, to an improv group, student democrats, student republicans, political debate, MEXA, Freethinkers and on and on and on...probably two or three dozen clubs in total. Some meet after school, some meet at lunch, there are a couple (like Yearbook, dance, choir) that are also considered classes but those are pretty much defined as elective or fine arts credits and are in no way religious or political.

The courts may have backed them up, but the courts are morally wrong in doing so.  No tax dollar should ever go to fund a religious activity, including providing facilities for religious activities at taxpayer expense. . Christians and other religious people are morally wrong to mooch off of the taxpayers.  Maybe someday we'll have judges who get the moral issue, until then we'll have to govern ourselves to do the right thing. If God wants the group to happen, He'll provide the funds by a private Christian route, not through the government.

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1 hour ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

It's a separation of church and state issue.

 

We don't constitutionally have separation of church and state, though. 

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9 minutes ago, kdsuomi said:

 

We don't constitutionally have separation of church and state, though. 

And yet the principle applies.  Where in the Constitution does it allow for taxpayer funds and facilities to support religious activities?

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Now, I'm a diehard atheist, and yet I think SCOTUS is right on this point. If they allow student run clubs, they need to allow ALL student run clubs - including the Christian club, and PFLAG, and the Young Republicans, and the Secular Student Alliance, and the Satanist Association. Equal access.

With that said, churches should pay taxes. Or, if we're going to call them exempt, then they need to do all the paperwork that real non-profits do, and never engage in politics from the pulpit.

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4 minutes ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

And yet the principle applies.  Where in the Constitution does it allow for taxpayer funds and facilities to support religious activities?

I disagree that the principle applies.  Not because the Constitution allows for taxpayer funds and facilities to support religious activities, but because it doesn't disallow it.  Generally speaking, the rights listed in the constitution aren't actually about granting rights, but about protecting them.  

 

In terms of the club however, I think they are way out of bounds with the complaint.  The rule applies to all clubs, and further, I really would prefer that clubs meet after school anyway.  When I was teaching, the school I was at had an activity bus, when took kids home after all clubs, sports practices, detentions and so on.  Most kids couldn't have participated, or wouldn't have been picked up after discipline issues without such transportation.  I would think this would be a better option than taking away from instruction time.  I mean, so many schools already lose SO MUCH actual instruction time between all the testing and extras.  Run the clubs after school, run an activity bus (or two) to get kids home, it's fine.  And it sounds like the school just wanted all activities after school, so this particular club wasn't targeted and is being a bunch of whiners.  

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1 hour ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

The courts may have backed them up, but the courts are morally wrong in doing so.  No tax dollar should ever go to fund a religious activity, including providing facilities for religious activities at taxpayer expense. . Christians and other religious people are morally wrong to mooch off of the taxpayers.  Maybe someday we'll have judges who get the moral issue, until then we'll have to govern ourselves to do the right thing. If God wants the group to happen, He'll provide the funds by a private Christian route, not through the government.

That is quite the claim.

Is this a war of the gods then--if your religion is the True one that will be manifest through divine providence of a meeting space and all other religions will wilt for lack of such providence?

Students organizing a religious based club during lunch or after school within a school facility is no more state sponsorship of religion than students organizing a club for atheists in the same circumstances is state sponsorship of atheism. Principles of separation of church and state were never meant to prevent religious activity within publicly funded spaces; as long as rules for club organization and space use are fair and evenly applied there is no state preference for or against religion or imposition of religion at work.

Your morality is your own, neither a legal mandate nor universally applicable to all Christians.

Edited by maize
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I'm going to go back to my last comment a second -  Homeschool Mom in AZ, do you consider it "mooching off the taxpayer dollar" when a church uses a church bus on the public roads to go to some event? Or when they use the publicly funded fire department to put out a fire on their property?

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37 minutes ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

 If God wants the group to happen, He'll provide the funds by a private Christian route, not through the government.

Ok...I don't even know where to go with this line of thinking. This is so far outside the legality or constitutionality issues that I really don't know what to say. This is, quite literally, your personal religious belief about how God works and what is immoral vs. moral.

In any case, if you want to ban religious student groups from using the same facilities and accomodations as secular groups, run for your local school board and...good luck and, uh, Godspeed, I guess? 

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Weirdly, in my extremely non-religious nation, we STILL have religious instruction in public schools - and if you don't go to religious instruction, you have to sit and twiddle your thumbs, because schools can't offer anything academic during 'Scripture'. 

Worse than that, was when dd2 was in Yr 7, and the public high school had some strange, underhand arrangement with the church across the road, had a Christian outreach worker on site three days a week, and she withdrew girls from science classes to attend Bible class. I had many meetings with the Principal, trying to get to the bottom of why she was allowed to be there, and withdraw girls from science class, but never got further than getting the worker to remove the school's name from her bio associated with a very conservative religious group (not the church across the road) before we left that school.

So honestly, saying that a bible club needs to meet at lunchtime or after school seems very reasonable to me!

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31 minutes ago, StellaM said:

Weirdly, in my extremely non-religious nation, we STILL have religious instruction in public schools - and if you don't go to religious instruction, you have to sit and twiddle your thumbs, because schools can't offer anything academic during 'Scripture'. 

 

I thought your state had ethics classes as an alternative these days.

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1 hour ago, Rosie_0801 said:

 

I thought your state had ethics classes as an alternative these days.

 

If there's an ethics teacher available for that stage. Some schools can offer; plenty can't.

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3 hours ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

The courts may have backed them up, but the courts are morally wrong in doing so.  No tax dollar should ever go to fund a religious activity, including providing facilities for religious activities at taxpayer expense. . Christians and other religious people are morally wrong to mooch off of the taxpayers.  Maybe someday we'll have judges who get the moral issue, until then we'll have to govern ourselves to do the right thing. If God wants the group to happen, He'll provide the funds by a private Christian route, not through the government.

The students are not mooching for Christianity anymore than the drama club or the debate team. Do you also have strong feelings about debate teams mooching off the taxpayers?? To allow say, chorus or a Spanish Club or a Cooking club but not a religious club is discrimination on the basis of religion. Which the constitution DOES talk about. 

3 hours ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

And yet the principle applies.  Where in the Constitution does it allow for taxpayer funds and facilities to support religious activities?

Where in the Constitution does it allow for taxpayer funds and facilities to support cheerleading or drama club?

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12 hours ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

And yet the principle applies.  Where in the Constitution does it allow for taxpayer funds and facilities to support religious activities?

No, I don’t think you’re right on this. The issue in question is, do they allow equal access? So, are they permitting a Christian Club but not a Buddhist Club? Are they permitting Young Republicans club but not Young Democrats? 

Our Christian homeschool co-op sometimes uses the meeting room at the local public library for organizational meetings - this is, tangentially, using taxpayer dollars to support a religious group. 

 

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