Friday, October 29, 2004


Stupid ban on Halloween maintained

The school board in this Pierce County city stood firm despite pleas from an angry crowd: No Halloween in the schools. "Improving student achievement is our highest priority," board president Greg Heath told about 400 people at the board's meeting Monday. "The school board supports the decision of our administration." Puyallup School District officials announced last week that Halloween festivities would be canceled in order to stop losing instructional time and to avoid offending believers in the Wiccan religion, sometimes known as witches.

"I'm shaking with anger," parent Vicki Hembroff told the board. "Our children are very creative, and this mixes education and fun together. Let's not take that away." Any parents who are offended by Halloween can keep their children away from school that day, she said. Parents, students and district employees crammed into the Ballou Junior High School cafeteria and lambasted the board over a full hour, The News Tribune of Tacoma reported Tuesday. "To make this decision at this late date is poor management, and you should be ashamed of yourselves," said David Powers, a parent. The crowd roared in approval.

Stacy Cook, who drives a school bus and serves in the PTA, wore a bright orange pumpkin hat when she came forward to speak. Cook said she was "both spooked and afraid" because the decision was made without advice from parents, students or teaching staff. ``You need to do a better job of probing the public," she said. "Think of the children. I hope they are heard" .....

District spokeswoman Karen Hansen said earlier that the costumes, excitement and all the focus on Halloween "take the focus away from learning." Hansen said Wiccans who have met with school officials have not asked for cancellation of Halloween events but have said they are offended by images of witches with pointy noses flying on broomsticks.

Lisa Lawrence, facilitator of Gaia's Grove in Puyallup and Wiccan high priestess of Sacred Oak Circle in Puyallup and Tacoma, believes the issue is bigger than a Wiccan question. "Taking Halloween away from children, that's just ridiculous," she told The Associated Press on Tuesday. Lawrence does not have children in Puyallup schools. "We don't particularly care for the images of witches but there are a lot of stereotypical images that a lot of people don't like, but that's part of life," said Lawrence."People dress up as perverted priests, sexy nuns, drunken Irishmen, nerds, obese people, every group has its stereotype that is mocked or made fun of. As far as classroom time, this is just another attempt to take very bit of creativity and socialization out of schools," she said. "They want to take every bit of fun away from these kids and turn them into testing machines."

More here.


A Christian group is suing a state university that rejected its recognition on campus because it will not accept officers and members who openly oppose its religious beliefs. The University of California's Hastings College of Law says the Christian Legal Society chapter's criteria violate the school's Policy on Nondiscrimination. The policy forces the CLS chapter, and other campus religious groups who want to be recognized, to accept non-Christian members and officers.

The federal civil rights lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, alleges UC Hastings is violating the First Amendment rights of expressive association, free speech and free exercise of religion.

The CLS chapter asked school officials in early September to exempt the group and other religious student organizations from the policy but were denied. The school insisted that "to be one of our student-recognized organizations, the CLS chapter must open its membership to all students irrespective of their religious beliefs or sexual orientation." UC Hastings then stripped the CLS chapter of its yearly funding, despite promises already made by university officials to provide for certain chapter-related expenses.

"It is outrageous that the University of California, which was at the epicenter of the struggle for campus free speech in the 1960's, should now refuse to recognize a student group's fundamental right to choose to associate with those who share their beliefs," said Steven H. Aden, chief litigation counsel for the Christian Legal Society's Center for Law & Religious Freedom in Annandale, Va. Aden said the university is only "the latest in a string of colleges across the country to face litigation because they value political correctness over religious liberty." The lawsuit was filed by the Center for Law & Religious Freedom, the Alliance Defense Fund, and allied attorneys Timothy Smith and Stephen Burlingham.

Source. There is another article about politically correct oppression at a university on EDUCATION WATCH today.


American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.


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