Tuesday, December 07, 2004

New Jersey: School's carol rule for the Grinch? "There won't be any herald angels singing or little drummer boys drumming at schools in Maplewood this holiday season. Last year, when students in the chorus sang Christmas songs at holiday concerts, a few people complained that lyrics about the baby Jesus or angels made non-Christians feel left out. So, the music director for the New Jersey district issued an edict that all songs representing any religion were to be avoided. But at a school board meeting this month, many parents argued the ruling is more Grinch than goodwill. Those that read the actual school policy say it's being misinterpreted since the policy permits 'the inclusion of religious literature, music, drama, (etc.) provided ... it neither inhibits nor advances any religious point of view.'" [How can it be religious and not advance a religious point of view?]

Suppressing free speech for college credit: "Some students at Rutgers' all-female Douglass College received college credit for a petition drive to ban a student weekly, The Medium, which published photos of nude women. Paul Mulshine, a Newark Star-Ledger columnist who once was The Medium's editor, writes: As part of a required 'activism' project, (Douglass) students in a class called 'Woman, Culture and Society' decided to petition for the Medium to be banned from campus. If you are a student of the First Amendment, as I am, you will note that such a ban would be in violation of the Constitution. Nonetheless, the students set up a table on campus and began gathering signatures on a petition."

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