Monday, May 22, 2006

Politically Correct Elementary School

Hat Tip: The Grandy and Andy Morning Show on 630 WMAL in Washington DC.

What happens when an elementary school decides to commemorate their first, by depicting a Libertynickel on the front of their yearbook? Well, what you don't get is an accurate representation of U.S. Currency!! 'In God We Trust' goes missing: School plays it safe with yearbook cover photo. According to WFAA-TV news:
The freedom of religion at Liberty Elementary School has gone too far for some parents at the Colleyville school.

The cover of the Keller ISD school's annual depicts the 2005 Liberty Nickel – complete with the face of Thomas Jefferson – but the words "In God We Trust" are missing.

Instead, the $16 yearbook contains a sticker with the credo and directions on how to apply it to the cover if the owner chooses.

Debbi Ackerman was one of the parents who questioned the missing phrase when her daughter brought the annual home from school.

"She said the teachers told them there was some people who didn't believe in God, and that when they got home – don't do it at school – but affix it when they got home," Mrs. Ackerman said.

"We are just shocked and saddened that it's come to this and it hit right in our back yard."

The Keller school district's policy is to remain neutral on religion.

A spokesman for the PTA, which produced the book, says it simply adhered to that rule.

"I have heard both sides of the argument, so we decided to not step on anybody's toes and take it off," PTA spokesman Tom Gardner said.

A spokesman for the district agreed.

"In this case, I think it was the principal making every effort to make sure that all faiths were respected," Jason Meyer said.
So in order to not offend anyone's religious sensibilities, the school decided to offend lots of people by not accurately depicting official U.S. Currency because it contains the words "In God We Trust." Because some atheist or person subscribing to a non-Christian, non-Jewish faith might be offended the school just photoshops out the phrase.

So I have a question, do atheists not use money? Do atheists refuse to used quarters in parking meters or soda machines? Do atheists not pay for things in cash because the currency they use refers to God?

The entire United States uses currency that says In God We Trust and no one that I know of gets offended.

According to the Dallas Star-Telegram
Janet Travis, principal of Liberty Elementary School in Colleyville, wanted to avoid offending students of different religions, a district spokesman said.


District policy states, in part: "The District shall take no action respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech."
This is of course appropriate for public schools to strive for this kind of religious neutrality, but really--does including an accurate depiction of a nickel really respect the establishment of religion? the United States Government includes the words ON THEIR CURRENCY and that is not a constitutional violation--but this principal--who is probably not a lawyer or constitutional scholar--thinks that such language is "establishing a religion." Making my point even more is the local American Civil Liberties Union, again from the Dallas Star-Telegram:
Michael Linz, a Dallas attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, said the district's move was appropriate, sensitive and constitutional.

"Sometimes administrators and schools are really caught trying to make appropriate decisions with respect to people's views. Someone is always going to complain," he said. "I think that the school administrators were drawing the appropriate line by trying not to offend others." (emphasis added)
Yes, someone is always going to complain, but here is a bet I am willing to place. If the school had put an accurate depiction of the Liberty Nickel on the cover, I believe no one would have complained about "In God We Trust" because most people do not equate the phrase with the establishment of religion or the free exercise thereof.

For a school names Liberty Elementary, they certainly don't have much of a concept of what the word means.

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