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Old 02-17-2005, 08:31 AM   #1
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Normal Yet more embarassing Virginia news....

From http://www.cnn.com/2005/EDUCATION/02...ible.class.ap/
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Board allows Bible classes to continue


Tuesday, February 15, 2005 Posted: 10:48 AM EST (1548 GMT)

STAUNTON, Virginia (AP) -- Public elementary schools will continue to allow Bible classes during class time while the local school board conducts a one-year review to determine if criticism of the practice by some parents is valid.

Several hundred people attended the school board meeting Monday, with many standing and applauding the 5-1 decision to begin the review while continuing religious classes, a tradition in Staunton and some other rural Virginia school districts for more than 60 years.

"My conscience tells me this community needs this program, and we need to keep it," board member Angie Whitesell said.

In the Weekday Religious Education program, first-, second- and third-graders go to nearby churches for Bible classes during school hours.

Some parents had asked the board to eliminate or modify the program, saying children who choose not to go are stigmatized and lose valuable class time.

The Supreme Court ruled decades ago that the classes do not violate the separation of church and state because they are held away from school premises.
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Old 02-17-2005, 08:38 AM   #2
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Long-time optional practice that is not conducted by the government.
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Old 02-17-2005, 08:41 AM   #3
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I don't feel they should eliminate the classes, but at least make them optional.
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Old 02-17-2005, 08:47 AM   #4
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why can't they do bible classes before or after school though?
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Old 02-17-2005, 08:58 AM   #5
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Agreed,
As long as they are optional it is not really the government's place to intervene. As long as it's optional I think this is a more an issue between parents/children and the local school boards than between the state and church.

If those hosting them want to modify the classes, that's their decision. If the schools decide that the classes are against the interests of students, that's their decision, too. I guess that's what the school board will decide.

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Old 02-17-2005, 09:06 AM   #6
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I see nothing wrong with it. The elementary school I went to (mid '80s) taught us Bible stories from time to time. They would be sued today, but no one said anything then. There's certainly no reason for Virginians to be embarrased. This coming from a fellow democrat.
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Old 02-17-2005, 09:09 AM   #7
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you can do whatever you want before or after school. during school hours, when children are required by law to attend school, is a different story.

would the school allow students to leave during school hours for optional, non-government run private lessons for dance, music, or athletics? of course not, unless it was a special occasion, not a regular thing -- that's why these activities are scheduled after school. bible classes should be no different.

and just what does this comment mean: "My conscience tells me this community needs this program, and we need to keep it," board member Angie Whitesell said.

i don't give a damn what your conscience tells you. what does your brain tell you?!?!

it amazes me how sentimental people can get about their religion.
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Old 02-17-2005, 09:17 AM   #8
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Exactly. You can do what you want to do before or after school hours. During school, a child can't decide because they are required to attend school. If a child decides not to attend these classes, or their parents don't want them to or whatever, they could become outcasts, and this isn't right.
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Old 02-17-2005, 09:21 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2democrat
why can't they do bible classes before or after school though?
This is a good point. I think if religious education must take place in public schools during school hours, they should learn about different religions because it helps understand different cultures.

Quote:
The Supreme Court ruled decades ago that the classes do not violate the separation of church and state because they are held away from school premises.
For better or worse, the role of the law is consistency, and making rulings based on past similar cases.
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Old 02-17-2005, 09:21 AM   #10
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What if the students were going to a local temple? Something other than a church? How outraged would people be then?
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Old 02-17-2005, 09:23 AM   #11
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I can't answer that, I don't know what would happen.
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Old 02-17-2005, 09:24 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511

would the school allow students to leave during school hours for optional, non-government run private lessons for dance, music, or athletics? of course not, unless it was a special occasion, not a regular thing -- that's why these activities are scheduled after school. bible classes should be no different.

Hmmm. Good point. Highlighting the logical inconsistency and perhaps a certain favouritism.

Jon
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Old 02-17-2005, 09:25 AM   #13
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Just hypotheticals.

By the way for you non virginians "Staunton" is actually pronounced "Stanton".
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Old 02-17-2005, 10:19 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by verte76
If a child decides not to attend these classes, or their parents don't want them to or whatever, they could become outcasts, and this isn't right.
Why is it that they are so quickly labeled as outcasts. Is there a presumption of some non-Christian persecution?
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Old 02-17-2005, 10:21 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2democrat
What if the students were going to a local temple? Something other than a church? How outraged would people be then?
Wouldn't it be beter to allow this than shut down the entire optional program?
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