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Deberg_1990
06-02-2011, 12:17 PM
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43228696/ns/us_news/


:facepalm:

A federal judge ruled on Tuesday that a high school graduation in a San Antonio suburb may not include an opening and closing prayer or the words "invocation" or "benediction."

District Judge Fred Biery ruled that using those words would make it sound like Castroville's Medina Valley High School is "sponsoring a religion."

"We think that the district has been flouting the law for decades," said Ayesha Kahn, an attorney for Americans United for Church and State, which filed the lawsuit. "We're glad that the court is going to put an end to it."

No appeal of the ruling is planned, and the invocation and benediction will no longer take place, said Chris Martinez, assistant superintendent of the Medina Valley Independent School District.

"Our entire school system is set up on following the rules, and we are going to do that," Martinez told Reuters.

"But this is one parent's opinion of what we are doing. We don't believe we have done anything wrong."

Christa and Danny Schultz, who describe themselves as agnostics, sued the district, claiming that their son might not participate in the graduation set for Saturday if he were forced to participate in religious activities.

Biery ruled that students who are speaking at graduation can still talk about their faith, or cite a belief in God as the reason for their success, but they may not say "amen" or "God bless you," or have the audience rise and bow their heads.

There are 238 students set to graduate.

Martinez said the Pledge of Allegiance, which includes the words "under God," will go on as scheduled.

ChiefsCountry
06-02-2011, 12:39 PM
I'm sure that will go over real well in Texas.

Simplex3
06-02-2011, 12:40 PM
I don't understand the problem here. They shouldn't have been saying a prayer to the Christian God during a government funded event. They got called on it and lost. Now they won't.

Of course the truth is that someone who is speaking, like the valedictorian, will sneak something in anyway.

alpha_omega
06-02-2011, 12:42 PM
Amen, brother.

Deberg_1990
06-02-2011, 12:42 PM
They shouldn't have been saying a prayer to the Christian God during a government funded event.

Congress does...the military does all the time.

Simplex3
06-02-2011, 12:48 PM
Congress does...the military does all the time.

I sped on the way in this morning. So did millions of other people. Doesn't make it legal.

listopencil
06-02-2011, 12:53 PM
I don't understand the problem here. They shouldn't have been saying a prayer to the Christian God during a government funded event. They got called on it and lost. Now they won't.

Of course the truth is that someone who is speaking, like the valedictorian, will sneak something in anyway.

This.

ROYC75
06-02-2011, 03:36 PM
:shake:

|Zach|
06-02-2011, 03:46 PM
I don't understand the problem here. They shouldn't have been saying a prayer to the Christian God during a government funded event. They got called on it and lost. Now they won't.

Of course the truth is that someone who is speaking, like the valedictorian, will sneak something in anyway.

Yea. I mean the move is mad dickish. I would never have a problem with it or say anything but the rules are clear.

Jenson71
06-02-2011, 03:58 PM
I don't understand the problem here. They shouldn't have been saying a prayer to the Christian God during a government funded event. They got called on it and lost. Now they won't.

I think there's a problem. I think a student speaker (presumably, a valedictorian or someone the class votes for) should be able to say, "God bless you" in his graduation speech, or quote St. Francis and include "Amen."

I think it's stupid that it is considered beyond the limits of Freedom of Speech.

go bowe
06-02-2011, 04:03 PM
only arrogant 1ls like you say such academically elitist crap...

oh, wait...

Deberg_1990
06-02-2011, 04:06 PM
Yea. I mean the move is mad dickish. I would never have a problem with it or say anything but the rules are clear.

I think thats most people problem with it. Is it technically illegal?....sure.

Did the parents and kid need to be pricks about it and take it to court? Probably not.

Couldnt they have just discussed it with school officials? Couldnt the school officials have adjusted the program as to not offend anyone?

We dont know the history behind this.....my guess is the parents and kids have had "issues" with the school for years and are trying to get back somehow.

go bowe
06-02-2011, 04:08 PM
I think thats most people problem with it. Is it technically illegal?....sure.

Did the parents and kid need to be pricks about it and take it to court? Probably not.

Couldnt they have just discussed it with school officials? Couldnt the school officials have adjusted the program as to not offend anyone?

who the hell are YOU?

we don't do reasonable around here... :shake:

Jenson71
06-02-2011, 04:11 PM
Yea. I mean the move is mad dickish. I would never have a problem with it or say anything but the rules are clear.

The rules are clearer now that the opinion has been written. But was there really a rule before that said "Thou shalt not say 'Amen' or 'God Bless you' in high school graduation speeches by students?"

|Zach|
06-02-2011, 04:13 PM
I think thats most people problem with it. Is it technically illegal?....sure.

Did the parents and kid need to be pricks about it and take it to court? Probably not.

Couldnt they have just discussed it with school officials? Couldnt the school officials have adjusted the program as to not offend anyone?

We dont know the history behind this.....my guess is the parents and kids have had "issues" with the school for years and are trying to get back somehow.

Could be.

Yea, its idiotic that they had a problem with it but IMO it is usually idiotic when people think this is some huge affront to their religion. I mean it is the same weak sauce stuff when someone gets all worked up because someone at Office Depot doesn't say Merry Christmas.

As if some graduation or some asshole at a retail store should have any barring on your personal religious beliefs which you are allowed to have and enjoy.

|Zach|
06-02-2011, 04:15 PM
The rules are clearer now that the opinion has been written. But was there really a rule before that said "Thou shalt not say 'Amen' or 'God Bless you' in high school graduation speeches by students?"

Well the way I see it they are trying to draw a line. Because in all things like this a line has to be drawn somewhere....even though it will seem silly and ridiculous no matter where it is drawn.

On one extreme you have someone talking quietly to themselves praying and on the other extreme you have someone all up in someone else's shit trying to force their religion down their throat. Somewhere in between those worlds a line was drawn.

Dave Lane
06-02-2011, 04:15 PM
The funny thing is you don't see atheists / scientists going to churches to teach evolution or lack of faith ever. Yet they think they have a god given (pun intended) right to force their viewpoint on everyone else.

I'll make them a deal they can have prayer in school if they devote 20% of the church service to evolution / secular lectures.

Jenson71
06-02-2011, 04:16 PM
Did the parents and kid need to be pricks about it and take it to court? Probably not.

The situation is so disgustingly saturated with self-important individualists (picture Simplex, on a real-life basis). Who would ever want to associate with someone who thinks in this society that their freedom from religion is so fragile that they need to disrupt some graduating senior's speech mentioning some sort of prayer to God? It's ridiculous, and it's a complete bastardization of civil rights victories.

|Zach|
06-02-2011, 04:16 PM
The funny thing is you don't see atheists / scientists going to churches to teach evolution or lack of faith ever. Yet they think they have a god given (pun intended) right to force it bon everyone else.

I'll make them a deal they can have prayer in school if the devote 20% of the service to evolution / secular lectures.

You are as big of if not bigger of an asshole for being a non believer as anyone I have ever encountered who is a believer.

go bowe
06-02-2011, 04:18 PM
The rules are clearer now that the opinion has been written. But was there really a rule before that said "Thou shalt not say 'Amen' or 'God Bless you' in high school graduation speeches by students?"

i think you could, and probably have made a case for such quasi-religious things under the first amendment's freedom of speech and religious freedom provisions...

unfortunately, the supremes have taken a perfectly good concept a little too far with all this no prayer, no god bless, no amens crap...

no one is forced to participate in these religious activities and it just seems extreme to ban all forms of religious expression in any government related activity...

ClevelandBronco
06-02-2011, 04:19 PM
The funny thing is you don't see atheists / scientists going to churches to teach evolution or lack of faith ever. Yet they think they have a god given (pun intended) right to force their viewpoint on everyone else.

I'll make them a deal they can have prayer in school if they devote 20% of the service to evolution / secular lectures.

I reject your use of the word "force." You must be easily forced.

Jenson71
06-02-2011, 04:19 PM
Well the way I see it they are trying to draw a line. Because in all things like this a line has to be drawn somewhere....even though it will seem silly and ridiculous no matter where it is drawn.

On one extreme you have someone talking quietly to themselves praying and on the other extreme you have someone all up in someone else's shit trying to force their religion down their throat. Somewhere in between those worlds a line was drawn.

This was a poorly drawn line. A graduating senior's address to his fellow students, teachers, and family members, is not the government establishing or favoring a religion.

It's not the government at all. It's a private individual, not representing the government, in a public function. It would be a different situation if it was the school's principal or superintendent making the speech. But this is an 18 year old chosen by classmates.

go bowe
06-02-2011, 04:20 PM
The funny thing is you don't see atheists / scientists going to churches to teach evolution or lack of faith ever. Yet they think they have a god given (pun intended) right to force their viewpoint on everyone else.

I'll make them a deal they can have prayer in school if they devote 20% of the church service to evolution / secular lectures.

i am so not holding my breath...

Brock
06-02-2011, 04:20 PM
The valedictorian should go ahead and do it anyway if they want to.

Dave Lane
06-02-2011, 04:22 PM
The situation is so disgustingly saturated with self-important individualists (picture Simplex, on a real-life basis). Who would ever want to associate with someone who thinks in this society that their freedom from religion is so fragile that they need to disrupt some graduating senior's speech mentioning some sort of prayer to God? It's ridiculous, and it's a complete bastardization of civil rights victories.

Why is it ridiculous? It is the law.

ClevelandBronco
06-02-2011, 04:22 PM
The valedictorian should go ahead and do it anyway if they want to.

Exactly. "May the love of Jesus Christ bless you all throughout your lives. Arrest me now, bitches. Amen."

Brock
06-02-2011, 04:23 PM
Why is it riduculous? It is the law.

Freedom of speech is the law.

Dave Lane
06-02-2011, 04:24 PM
i am so not holding my breath...

The churches would be empty in a couple years if they allowed it.

go bowe
06-02-2011, 04:24 PM
The valedictorian should go ahead and do it anyway if they want to.

exactly...

Dave Lane
06-02-2011, 04:25 PM
Freedom of speech is the law.

No you are wrong. This doesn't apply. This is not a freedom of speech issue.

ClevelandBronco
06-02-2011, 04:25 PM
The churches would be empty in a couple years if they allowed it.

Dream on.

alnorth
06-02-2011, 04:26 PM
This was a poorly drawn line. A graduating senior's address to his fellow students, teachers, and family members, is not the government establishing or favoring a religion.

It's not the government at all. It's a private individual, not representing the government, in a public function.

I don't think the court has or will go so far as to require that a student's speech be pre-screened for religious content. I'm surprised this was still an issue, at my high school eons and eons ago it was basically understood that the school was not going to say or write a word about religion in any pamphlets or in any speech given by an active school official, but if a student who was scheduled to speak wanted to, on their own initiative, sneak in a quick prayer or have subtle religious tones in their speech, that was fine.

In this case you have a school organizing and scheduling everything out, essentially saying "OK folks, at this time we'll do this religious thing, then an hour later we'll do this other religious thing", etc. That is not cool. If the valedictorian, who is a private citizen and not in any way a school official, wants to talk about God without any prompting by the school, fine.

go bowe
06-02-2011, 04:27 PM
The churches would be empty in a couple years if they allowed it.

i dunno...

there will always be people looking to some form of a higher power...

better lutheran than people's temple...

Brock
06-02-2011, 04:27 PM
No you are wrong. This doesn't apply. This is not a freedom of speech issue.

No I am right. This does apply. This is a freedom of speech issue.

Jenson71
06-02-2011, 04:28 PM
Why is it ridiculous? It is the law.

Laws are not immune from ridiculousness. But, I read this as an interpretation of Constitutional law. And an interpretation that happens to be ridiculous.

According to this interpretation, a senior who worked hard to be number one in his class can not end his speech with something the president says on a daily basis: "God bless you, and God bless the United States of America."

Not being able to say that in this country, on the grounds that it's against Constitutional principles is a wild interpretation.

Jenson71
06-02-2011, 04:30 PM
I don't think the court has or will go so far as to require that a student's speech be pre-screened for religious content. I'm surprised this was still an issue, at my high school eons and eons ago it was basically understood that the school was not going to say or write a word about religion in any pamphlets or in any speech given by an active school official, but if a student who was scheduled to speak wanted to, on their own initiative, sneak in a quick prayer or have subtle religious tones in their speech, that was fine.

In this case you have a school organizing and scheduling everything out, essentially saying "OK folks, at this time we'll do this religious thing, then an hour later we'll do this other religious thing", etc. That is not cool. If the valedictorian, who is a private citizen and not in any way a school official, wants to talk about God without any prompting by the school, fine.

I'm just going off the article. Per the article: "Biery ruled that students who are speaking at graduation can still talk about their faith, or cite a belief in God as the reason for their success, but they may not say "amen" or "God bless you," or have the audience rise and bow their heads."

alnorth
06-02-2011, 04:32 PM
Biery ruled that students who are speaking at graduation can still talk about their faith, or cite a belief in God as the reason for their success, but they may not say "amen" or "God bless you," or have the audience rise and bow their heads.

Woops, I missed this part. I completely disagree with this small part of the ruling, and it would probably not survive appeal if the student had the money and the inclination to bother with an appeal.

The school cant schedule a religious activity and the principal can not lead a prayer. What a private citizen, not employed by the school and not acting in any official government capacity wants to do with their 10 minutes in front of a microphone is up to them, and the audience has the right to cheer, jeer, boo, or walk out.

The school screwed up by trying to organize everything. The judge went too far by trying to restrict a private citizen's free speech. This is about as silly as ruling that a musician in a rock concert is not allowed to say amen.

Jenson71
06-02-2011, 04:33 PM
No you are wrong. This doesn't apply. This is not a freedom of speech issue.

It should be a freedom of speech issue. The student should have the freedom to say "God bless you" or "Amen" or ask the crowd to bow their heads (regardless of whether the crowd actually obeys or not).

Dave Lane
06-02-2011, 04:33 PM
I'm just going off the article. Per the article: "Biery ruled that students who are speaking at graduation can still talk about their faith, or cite a belief in God as the reason for their success, but they may not say "amen" or "God bless you," or have the audience rise and bow their heads."

He's basically saying they can't invoke prayer. That's all.

orange
06-02-2011, 04:33 PM
I think there's a problem. I think a student speaker (presumably, a valedictorian or someone the class votes for) should be able to say, "God bless you" in his graduation speech, or quote St. Francis and include "Amen."

I think it's stupid that it is considered beyond the limits of Freedom of Speech.

How about "Allahu akbar?"

Deberg_1990
06-02-2011, 04:36 PM
The funny thing is you don't see atheists / scientists going to churches to teach evolution or lack of faith ever. Yet they think they have a god given (pun intended) right to force their viewpoint on everyone else.

I'll make them a deal they can have prayer in school if they devote 20% of the church service to evolution / secular lectures.

Whens the last time somebody tied you up and forced you to go to church??

If your a non believer, then why cant you just ignore it when someone is praying around you? Whats the big deal?

On the flip flop, believers shouldnt be so sensitive whenever a non believer doesnt believe.

Who cares really? What others believe should have zero effect on your own happiness and thoughts.

ClevelandBronco
06-02-2011, 04:36 PM
I'm just going off the article. Per the article: "Biery ruled that students who are speaking at graduation can still talk about their faith, or cite a belief in God as the reason for their success, but they may not say "amen" or "God bless you," or have the audience rise and bow their heads."

The judge should feel free to suggest that a student might refrain from doing any of those things, but to do anything more than suggest it is just not in his job description.

I wonder what charge he would have a violator face. Contempt, perhaps? I'd take a contempt charge.

go bowe
06-02-2011, 04:37 PM
How about "Allahu akbar?"

cool with me...

especially in the suburbs of detroit...

Jenson71
06-02-2011, 04:37 PM
He's basically saying they can't invoke prayer. That's all.

And the prayer is speech. So, he's basically saying that they can't invoke some type of speech. And that's important.

ClevelandBronco
06-02-2011, 04:37 PM
How about "Allahu akbar?"

By all means.

Then shoot the little fucker.

alnorth
06-02-2011, 04:37 PM
It should be a freedom of speech issue. The student should have the freedom to say "God bless you" or "Amen" or ask the crowd to bow their heads (regardless of whether the crowd actually obeys or not).

If I were the valedictorian and if I were religious (I'm atheist, but that doesn't work in this hypothetical) and I had wanted to say a brief prayer, I would have ignored the ruling. If the school unplugs the microphone and kicks me out, fine. The media would love that. The court won't sanction a student for saying amen.

chiefqueen
06-02-2011, 04:38 PM
The valedictorian should go ahead and do it anyway if they want to.

In some instances I heard the school has withheld the diploma under a punishment is served/or an apology is made. Depending on the college he/she is planning to attend the action could jeopardize their spot in this fall's freshman class. (I remember a high school in IL doing this a couple of years ago.)

ClevelandBronco
06-02-2011, 04:39 PM
Woops, I missed this part. I completely disagree with this small part of the ruling, and it would probably not survive appeal if the student had the money and the inclination to bother with an appeal.

The school cant schedule a religious activity and the principal can not lead a prayer. What a private citizen, not employed by the school and not acting in any official government capacity wants to do with their 10 minutes in front of a microphone is up to them, and the audience has the right to cheer, jeer, boo, or walk out.

The school screwed up by trying to organize everything. The judge went too far by trying to restrict a private citizen's free speech. This is about as silly as ruling that a musician in a rock concert is not allowed to say amen.

Well, that's the thing. This ruling doesn't involve an individual student. It simply precludes the school from allowing it. I don't see any reason that should make a bit of difference to an individual student.

The school can then shake its finger and say, "Well, we did our best. Kids. What can you do?"

Jenson71
06-02-2011, 04:40 PM
How about "Allahu akbar?"

I vote constitutional.

ClevelandBronco
06-02-2011, 04:41 PM
In some instances I heard the school has withheld the diploma under a punishment is served/or an apology is made. Depending on the college he/she is planning to attend the action could jeopardize their spot in this fall's freshman class. (I remember a high school in IL doing this a couple of years ago.)

I'd love to see that court battle. It would be a waste of money for the school system in a losing effort, but they wouldn't give a shit. It's not their money anyway.

orange
06-02-2011, 04:42 PM
How about "Allahu akbar?"

cool with me...

especially in the suburbs of detroit...

By all means.

Then shoot the little ****er.

I hear that Rand Paul would have everyone at that graduation deported or arrested. :hmmm:

alnorth
06-02-2011, 04:43 PM
The school can then shake its finger and say, "Well, we did our best. Kids. What can you do?"

Eons and eons ago, that was basically our high school's position too. They weren't going to be a part of anything religious, and if someone asked them if they wanted the students to say a prayer, they would probably say no, they'd rather they didn't. Then every year one of the students scheduled to speak says a quick prayer anyway.

Basically, "Dang Kids! eh, we tried, what are you gonna do with those wacky religious youngsters."

Its not reasonable to ask the school to send a security guard to dive onto the stage in a shoulder-roll and tackle the microphone out of their hand.

ClevelandBronco
06-02-2011, 04:44 PM
I hear that Rand Paul would have everyone at that graduation deported or arrested. :hmmm:

He'd probably be okay with "Aqua Buddha akbar."

ClevelandBronco
06-02-2011, 04:46 PM
The real problem might be that not enough atheists become valedictorians.

Brock
06-02-2011, 04:48 PM
In some instances I heard the school has withheld the diploma under a punishment is served/or an apology is made. Depending on the college he/she is planning to attend the action could jeopardize their spot in this fall's freshman class. (I remember a high school in IL doing this a couple of years ago.)

Link or STFU.

chiefqueen
06-02-2011, 04:55 PM
I'd love to see that court battle. It would be a waste of money for the school system in a losing effort, but they wouldn't give a shit. It's not their money anyway.

The school system wouldn't pay a cent, the ALCU would cover their legal costs. Then the ACLU would tell the parents of the student the family would pay for all court costs should they lose. Rather than risk bankruptcy (unless they're millionnaires already) the family would drop the lawsuit and if the kid wants to go to college bad enough, submit to the school district's demands to receive his/her diploma and/or final transcript. The ACLU "wrote the book" on this.

chiefqueen
06-02-2011, 04:58 PM
Link or STFU.

If I'm awake after the ballgame. I'm ready for my ride and it would involve me "Googling" stuff I do not my employer to know.

ClevelandBronco
06-02-2011, 05:01 PM
The school system wouldn't pay a cent, the ALCU would cover their legal costs. Then the ACLU would tell the parents of the student the family would pay for all court costs should they lose. Rather than risk bankruptcy (unless they're millionnaires already) the family would drop the lawsuit and if the kid wants to go to college bad enough, submit to the school district's demands to receive his/her diploma and/or final transcript. The ACLU "wrote the book" on this.

You're right. Silly me.

stevieray
06-02-2011, 05:02 PM
No you are wrong. This doesn't apply. This is not a freedom of speech issue.

....it's as much a freedom of speech issue as it is a freedom of religion issue. it's one of the reasons why this country was founded, to be able to speak and worship without tyrannical repercussions.

Deberg_1990
06-02-2011, 05:04 PM
The latest is, the valedictorian has filed an emergency motion with the U.S. 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to intervene in the litigation started last week when the parents of an agnostic student sued the Medina Valley Independent School District.

Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/article/Valedictorian-joins-fight-to-allow-prayer-at-high-1407086.php#ixzz1OA9QCdG3

ClevelandBronco
06-02-2011, 05:10 PM
The latest is, the valedictorian has filed an emergency motion with the U.S. 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to intervene in the litigation started last week when the parents of an agnostic student sued the Medina Valley Independent School District.

Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/article/Valedictorian-joins-fight-to-allow-prayer-at-high-1407086.php#ixzz1OA9QCdG3

Now why do that? Make the dumbasses arrest you, kid.

Dave Lane
06-02-2011, 05:18 PM
The latest is, the valedictorian has filed an emergency motion with the U.S. 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to intervene in the litigation started last week when the parents of an agnostic student sued the Medina Valley Independent School District.

Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/article/Valedictorian-joins-fight-to-allow-prayer-at-high-1407086.php#ixzz1OA9QCdG3

If I said Jesus fucking Christ would that be wrong?

Dave Lane
06-02-2011, 05:19 PM
....it's as much a freedom of speech issue as it is a freedom of religion issue. it's one of the reasons why this country was founded, to be able to speak and worship without tyrannical repercussions.

So I can come to your house tonite and preach about atheistism to you and your family and you are fine with me expressing my first admendment rights?

orange
06-02-2011, 05:26 PM
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott on Wednesday asked a federal appeals court to overturn the order.

"This is part of an ongoing attempt to purge God from the public setting, while at the same time demanding from the court increased yielding to all things agnostic and atheistic," Abbott said.

He said Congress begins each session with a prayer to God, and Biery's ruling would allow a student to "bend over in honor of Mecca," but not lead a prayer to the Christian God.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/02/us-prayer-graduation-texas-idUSTRE75177D20110602

Jenson71
06-02-2011, 05:29 PM
So I can come to your house tonite and preach about atheistism to you and your family and you are fine with me expressing my first admendment rights?

An enormous difference between public and private settings.

Dave Lane
06-02-2011, 05:36 PM
An enormous difference between public and private settings.

Exactly government property expressly denies the use of religion. Privately or in a NON-governmental public location it is permitted.

Jenson71
06-02-2011, 05:47 PM
Exactly government property expressly denies the use of religion. Privately or in a NON-governmental public location it is permitted.

I'm talking about why you don't have the freedom of speech to stevieray's house and preach the gospel of atheism.

On the religion argument, I don't know what "use of religion" means.

listopencil
06-02-2011, 05:57 PM
....it's as much a freedom of speech issue as it is a freedom of religion issue. it's one of the reasons why this country was founded, to be able to speak and worship without tyrannical repercussions.


Cool. I'll send someone over to your house to explain secular humanism to you while you're having dinner.

Dave Lane
06-02-2011, 06:29 PM
An enormous difference between public and private settings.

Do you support the right of equal time and would you allow a speaker to discuss why they believe there is no god at a graduation?

Dave Lane
06-02-2011, 06:30 PM
I'm talking about why you don't have the freedom of speech to stevieray's house and preach the gospel of atheism.

On the religion argument, I don't know what "use of religion" means.

Singling out the Christian god above Muslim or Jewish or Atheist beliefs.

Dave Lane
06-02-2011, 06:31 PM
Cool. I'll send someone over to your house to explain secular humanism to you while you're having dinner.

Can I go? Oh please please please... :)

alnorth
06-02-2011, 06:34 PM
The latest is, the valedictorian has filed an emergency motion with the U.S. 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to intervene in the litigation started last week when the parents of an agnostic student sued the Medina Valley Independent School District.

Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/article/Valedictorian-joins-fight-to-allow-prayer-at-high-1407086.php#ixzz1OA9QCdG3

cool. I don't think the school should win, but the student speakers might. Not sure if it will amount to anything though, the court might, perhaps rightfully, think "geez, come on. You've probably got a case, but this is so unimportant that we aren't going to rush to hear this by saturday."

The valedictorian should just do whatever she wants with her few minutes and then dare anyone to sue/punish her.

Jenson71
06-02-2011, 06:35 PM
Do you support the right of equal time and would you allow a speaker to discuss why they believe there is no god at a graduation?

I don't think it's necessary in the graduation setting to bring in an agnostic or atheist just because the chosen speaker included a prayer in his speech.

But if the chosen speaker decides to focus his speech on atheism, then, I can only find it allowable.

Jenson71
06-02-2011, 06:36 PM
Singling out the Christian god above Muslim or Jewish or Atheist beliefs.

I see no way that simply 'singling out the Christian God' on government grounds is a violation of the Constitution.

alnorth
06-02-2011, 06:38 PM
Exactly government property expressly denies the use of religion. Privately or in a NON-governmental public location it is permitted.

the property has nothing to do with it. You can rent a government building to hold a church service.

The school should not be involved in organizing religion, and the school officials should not lead a prayer (since that could be seen as the government establishing or endorseing religion), but the students who are asked to give a speech should be able to say anything they want short of profanity.

A student is not a school official. If a student, unannounced and with no blessing from the school, decides to pray in her speech thats just a private citizen speaking. It is not an endorsement of religion by the school, who had nothing to do with preparing, approving, or encouraging religious messages.

stevieray
06-02-2011, 06:39 PM
Can I go? Oh please please please... :)

...and do what Dave?

Become what you claim to despise?

alnorth
06-02-2011, 06:40 PM
Do you support the right of equal time and would you allow a speaker to discuss why they believe there is no god at a graduation?

Sure. Well, not as a required "equal time" provision or anything stupid like that, but if a student is asked to speak and he chooses to, out of the blue, talk about atheism, fine.

It would probably not be advisable in Texas, though. You'd likely be shouted at and boo'd before you are finally asked to leave for your own safety.

notorious
06-02-2011, 07:46 PM
Someone educate me. I am not being sarcastic.


The First Amendment States:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."


I am not a huge religion fan, but what rule/law are they breaking? I am obviously missing something.

alnorth
06-02-2011, 07:54 PM
Someone educate me. I am not being sarcastic.


The First Amendment States:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."


I am not a huge religion fan, but what rule/law are they breaking? I am obviously missing something.

The school is supported by the government, and thus can not organize a religious event or organize religious elements into an otherwise non-religious event, or the government, through their support of the school, would be seen as respecting a particular religion over another, or over no religion.

The school should lose. However, the student should win because no one knows her from Adam. She doesn't represent the school, she's a private citizen asked to speak. The school shouldn't tell her to be preachy, but if she decides to on her own, then we shouldn't try to stop her because she isn't representing the school or the government.

notorious
06-02-2011, 07:58 PM
The school is supported by the government, and thus can not organize a religious event or organize religious elements into an otherwise non-religious event, or the government, through their support of the school, would be seen as respecting a particular religion over another, or over no religion.

The school should lose. However, the student should win because no one knows her from Adam. She doesn't represent the school, she's a private citizen asked to speak. The school shouldn't tell her to be preachy, but if she decides to on her own, then we shouldn't try to stop her because she isn't representing the school or the government.

I agree, but it states that '.... congress shall make no laws...', not a school elevating on religion over another.


I understand and agree, but it would be interesting to read the actual document seperating things like this, instead of just congress/law/religion stuff.

orange
06-02-2011, 08:21 PM
I agree, but it states that '.... congress shall make no laws...', not a school elevating on religion over another.


I understand and agree, but it would be interesting to read the actual document seperating things like this, instead of just congress/law/religion stuff.

The "Due Process Clause" of the Fourteenth Amendment has been held to extend the Bill of Rights to limit state governments, too.

edit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incorporation_(Bill_of_Rights)

Simplex3
06-02-2011, 08:26 PM
Exactly. "May the love of Jesus Christ bless you all throughout your lives. Arrest me now, bitches. Amen."

He/she should and could. All this suit says is that the school can't turn the opening and closing of the ceremony into a Christian event. If you're at a government school even then the government school employees can't be dropping J-Bombs. Little Jenny can, she isn't a government employee.

Now, if the school would like to cover every religion equally in their opening and closing then we can talk. But we all know that would take forever and offend Christians.

notorious
06-02-2011, 08:28 PM
The "Due Process Clause" of the Fourteenth Amendment has been held to extend the Bill of Rights to limit state governments, too.

edit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incorporation_(Bill_of_Rights)

Bingo. Thank You.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Everson_v._Board_of_Education

Simplex3
06-02-2011, 08:30 PM
Whens the last time somebody tied you up and forced you to go to church??

If your a non believer, then why cant you just ignore it when someone is praying around you? Whats the big deal?

On the flip flop, believers shouldnt be so sensitive whenever a non believer doesnt believe.

Who cares really? What others believe should have zero effect on your own happiness and thoughts.

So if an atheist stood up at your kid's graduation and spent 5 minutes dropping unsubtle hints that Jesus is fake and God doesn't exist the Christians wouldn't be offended? It's the same reason atheists don't want to have to listen to people prattle on about a magical man in the sky.

orange
06-02-2011, 08:51 PM
A federal judge ruled on Tuesday that a high school graduation in a San Antonio suburb may not include an opening and closing prayer or the words "invocation" or "benediction."

This ruling eliminates official prayers. "Invocation" and "benediction" are scheduled events, not musings by the speaker.

Moreover, valedictory addresses are not "twenty minutes of free expression." The speaker is acting in an official capacity as an agent of the school, basically. The school has the right and the responsibility to impose rules. And if the speaker goes off the reservation, it will be the school that gets sued. Just like police departments get sued when a cop commits abuse on the job.

Jenson71
06-02-2011, 08:52 PM
He/she should and could. All this suit says is that the school can't turn the opening and closing of the ceremony into a Christian event. If you're at a government school even then the government school employees can't be dropping J-Bombs. Little Jenny can, she isn't a government employee.

It seems your interpretation of what "all this suit says" is drastically at odds with all of ours, and the article's, interpretation.

Jenson71
06-02-2011, 08:53 PM
This ruling eliminates official prayers. "Invocation" and "benediction" are scheduled events, not musings by the speaker.

Moreover, valedictory addresses are not "twenty minutes of free expression." The speaker is acting in an official capacity as an agent of the school, basically. The school has the right and the responsibility to impose rules. And if the speaker goes off the reservation, it will be the school that gets sued. Just like police departments get sued when a cop commits abuse on the job.

I don't think students qualify as agents of the school.

orange
06-02-2011, 08:59 PM
I don't think students qualify as agents of the school.

I believe that is how it is held, yes. This was the same subject - back in 2006.

A coulpe of weeks ago, a young woman, Brittany McComb, the valedictorian of Foothill High School near Las Vegas, had her microphone turned off mid-speech because she planned to mention Jesus Christ as the most important person in her life.

However, Clark County School District officials and an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union said Friday that cutting McComb's mic was the right call. Graduation ceremonies are school-sponsored events, a stance supported by federal court rulings, and as such may include religious references but not proselytizing, they said.

They said McComb's speech amounted to proselytizing and that her commentary could have been perceived as school-sponsored.

Before she delivered her commencement speech, McComb met with Foothill administrators, who edited her remarks. It's standard district practice to have graduation speeches vetted before they are read publicly.

School officials removed from McComb's speech some biblical references and the only reference to Christ.

But even though administrators warned McComb that her speech would get cut short if she deviated from the language approved by the school, she said it all boiled down to her fundamental right to free speech.

http://www.watchblog.com/republicans/archives/003933.html

Jenson71
06-02-2011, 09:03 PM
I know of agents as being employees. But students? Agency principles apply, for one example, to discriminating employers. But not even all the employees that discriminate are considered agents of the employer -- just supervisors of the victim.

orange
06-02-2011, 09:05 PM
I believe that is how it is held, yes. This was the same subject - back in 2006.


July 2, 2009
District’s policy of reviewing of valedictory speeches upheld


Corder v. Lewis Palmer Sch. Dist. No. 38, No. 08-1293 (10th Cir. May 29, 2009), is an interesting Student First Amendment case. The 10th Circuit held that a school district did not violate a student’s free speech rights by requiring her to submit her valedictory speech for prior review or by withholding her diploma until she apologized for disregarding the policy. The court also found that the policy did not violate the student’s right to free exercise of religion simply because her speech contained religious content, nor did it violate Colorado’s statute guaranteeing student publications freedom from prior restraint by school officials.
The School had an unwritten policy which required that each valedictorian submit his or her proposed graduation speech to the principal for review. The speech submitted by Erica Corder, one of 15 valedictorians made no mention of her religious beliefs. However, the speech she gave urged the audience to “find out more about the sacrifice [Jesus] made for you so that you now have the opportunity to live in eternity with Him.” The student was not given her diploma during the graduation and later was told she would not receive it unless she publicly apologized. She did so and received her diploma, but then sued raising six claims: (1) violation of freedom of speech under the First Amendment; (2) compelled speech in violation of the First Amendment; (3) violation of the right to equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment; (4) violation of freedom of religion under the First Amendment; (5) violation of the Colorado statute on student publications; and (6) violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

The main issue on appeal was Erica’s claim that the policy violated her free speech rights. The 10th held that the question was controlled by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier, 484 U.S. 260 (1988), because, given the level of control school officials exerted over who was named a valedictorian and the content of the speeches in advance of the graduation, the speech at issue constituted school-sponsor speech bearing the imprimatur of the school. Hazelwood allows school officials to exercise editorial control over school-sponsored speech, provided any restriction is reasonably related to legitimate pedagogical concerns. Here, the court found, “[a] graduation ceremony is an opportunity for the School District to impart lessons on discipline, courtesy, and respect for authority,” and school districts are “entitled to review the content of speeches in an effort to preserve neutrality on matters of controversy within a school environment.” Turning to the claim that her forced apology amounted to impermissible compelled speech, the court first noted that under student speech jurisprudence, compelled speech is no different from censored speech. Therefore, the court reasoned, because the school could censor Erica’s speech under Hazelwood, it also could compel her to apologize for disregarding its policy, where this was related to the legitimate pedagogical purpose of learning discipline, courtesy, and respect for authority.

As for the free exercise of religion claim, the court concluded that the policy of prior review was one of general applicability that operated in a neutral manner as to content of all the speeches, regardless of content. Erica was not disciplined under the policy because of the religious content of her speech, but because gave a different speech than the one she had submitted to the principal. The equal protection claim also was without merit, because Erica had failed to assert that she is a member of a suspect class or was denied a fundamental right. Finally, the Colorado statute was inapplicable her speech was not a part of a student publication.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/adjunctprofs/2009/07/districts-policy-of-reviewing-of-valedictory-speeches-upheld.html

Jenson71
06-02-2011, 09:10 PM
So in that case, the school district set the policy, and a student tried to interrupt it. But here, the policy was nonexistent until the court determined that the content somehow violated establishment principles.

orange
06-02-2011, 09:15 PM
In this case, the school district's policy went far beyond that. It was to have an actual benediction and invocation - until this ruling. Do you think an atheist who refused to lead the prayers had the same chance to be valedictorian?

Jenson71
06-02-2011, 09:27 PM
Whatever the facts of this particular school, the new standard set by this judge is extreme.

orange
06-02-2011, 09:39 PM
Actual ruling:

http://www2.mysanantonio.com/PDFs/MedinaValley.piopinion.pdf

He lists eleven precedents. I don't think this is a new standard at all. Just applying the law in a place that's ignored it.

Jenson71
06-02-2011, 09:40 PM
Paragraph b) http://www.au.org/media/press-releases/archives/2011/06/san-antonio-order.pdf

contains the judicial orders and allowances.

The judge needs to figure out a better way to state legal principles at the beginning of an opinion. That's an ugly string cite.

Jenson71
06-02-2011, 09:46 PM
they may not say . . . "God bless you,"


This doesn't actually appear in the opinion, interestingly.

ROYC75
06-02-2011, 10:15 PM
Whatever the facts of this particular school, the new standard set by this judge is extreme.

Hard left..... you would think he's rounding turn 4 to the pits.

ClevelandBronco
06-02-2011, 10:27 PM
So if an atheist stood up at your kid's graduation and spent 5 minutes dropping unsubtle hints that Jesus is fake and God doesn't exist the Christians wouldn't be offended? It's the same reason atheists don't want to have to listen to people prattle on about a magical man in the sky.

Yes, I would personally be offended. I would never, however, be willing to silence a fellow citizen simply to save myself from being offended.

alnorth
06-02-2011, 11:14 PM
I believe that is how it is held, yes. This was the same subject - back in 2006.

Until it is affirmed by the supreme court, that holding is bullcrap. A student sure as hell is NOT an agent of the school, nor by extension, the federal f***ing government.

listopencil
06-02-2011, 11:16 PM
Until it is affirmed by the supreme court, that holding is bullcrap. A student sure as hell is NOT an agent of the school, nor by extension, the federal f***ing government.

That depends on the situation.

alnorth
06-02-2011, 11:17 PM
In this case, the school district's policy went far beyond that. It was to have an actual benediction and invocation - until this ruling. Do you think an atheist who refused to lead the prayers had the same chance to be valedictorian?

yes. valedictorian is not a popularity or beauty contest, it is a mathematical calculation of grade point average. In the case of a tie, I guess it has to be broken somehow, but valedictorian is an objective standard and there's no reason to believe an atheist cant be a valedictorian.

Aside from that, you usually dont have just one student speaking at these things. its usually at least 2 or 3, sometimes more. The odds are good that at least one will want to pray.

alnorth
06-02-2011, 11:19 PM
That depends on the situation.

That situation usually being, an employee, vendor, or elected/appointed official.

listopencil
06-02-2011, 11:28 PM
That situation usually being, an employee, vendor, or elected/appointed official.

Well, valedictorian is a title given by the school to the student. It is an official title and carries with it, primarily, the duty of giving the "valediction". The valediction is the farewell address of that class. This is a traditional and time honored speech. It's a part of the graduation ceremony.

alnorth
06-02-2011, 11:32 PM
Actual ruling:

http://www2.mysanantonio.com/PDFs/MedinaValley.piopinion.pdf

He lists eleven precedents. I don't think this is a new standard at all. Just applying the law in a place that's ignored it.

In the only precedent that counts (Sante Fe) the school was holding a vote "should there be a prayer, yes/no" if yes wins, another vote "who should lead it".

I agree with the court in that case, the school should not be in the religion business at all, not even to the extent of being a disinterested tabulator of votes.

However, you cant go from there and jump to the school being required to review a private citizen's speech, who is unaffiliated in any official capacity with the school. If the student, on their own, without any prompting or blessing, goes into a prayer, what are you going to do? It is not reasonable to ask the school to post a guard at the fuse box ready to yank the plug and kill the audio. And then there's the realistic enforcement limitation. How the hell are you going to legally forbid students from going into a prayer? You cant fine or jail them, or withhold a diploma. Its unenforceable, all you can do is make sure the school does nothing to encourage it or put the idea into the student's heads.

This stupid judge went far beyond precedent, into issuing an unreasonable and unenforceable infringement on the student's free-speech rights.

listopencil
06-02-2011, 11:39 PM
To be clear, the girl did intend to lead the audience in prayer during her speech:


An agnostic couple filed the lawsuit against the school district when their son threatened not to attend graduation ceremonies if a prayer was allowed during the ceremony. Judge Biery ruled that students may present their own beliefs, but cannot call for prayer or deliver a message that could be understood as a prayer. Even as the judge amended his ruling Thursday morning, his amendment banned prayer from valedictorian Hildenbrand’s speech.

-snip-

"During my speech, I had hoped to use prayer to encourage my fellow graduates to trust God's plan for their lives, but because of the judge's ruling, I won't be allowed to do so," said Angela Hildenbrand, valedictorian of Medina Valley High School's class of 2011.


http://www.huliq.com/10178/agnostics-fight-against-valedictorians-wish-recite-prayer-graduation

listopencil
06-02-2011, 11:43 PM
In the only precedent that counts (Sante Fe) the school was holding a vote "should there be a prayer, yes/no" if yes wins, another vote "who should lead it".

I agree with the court in that case, the school should not be in the religion business at all, not even to the extent of being a disinterested tabulator of votes.

However, you cant go from there and jump to the school being required to review a private citizen's speech, who is unaffiliated in any official capacity with the school. If the student, on their own, without any prompting or blessing, goes into a prayer, what are you going to do? It is not reasonable to ask the school to post a guard at the fuse box ready to yank the plug and kill the audio. And then there's the realistic enforcement limitation. How the hell are you going to legally forbid students from going into a prayer? You cant fine or jail them, or withhold a diploma. Its unenforceable, all you can do is make sure the school does nothing to encourage it or put the idea into the student's heads.

This stupid judge went far beyond precedent, into issuing an unreasonable and unenforceable infringement on the student's free-speech rights.


It's my understanding that schools do go over the speech ahead of time and that the speech is subject to the approval of the school. As someone else pointed out the mic can be cut off if the student decides to deviate from the approved speech.

Jenson71
06-02-2011, 11:50 PM
It's my understanding that schools do go over the speech ahead of time and that the speech is subject to the approval of the school. As someone else pointed out the mic can be cut off if the student decides to deviate from the approved speech.

I doubt that's the usual case. I gave one of the two speeches at my hs graduation, and it was not reviewed by anyone else.

orange
06-02-2011, 11:53 PM
Until it is affirmed by the supreme court, that holding is bullcrap. A student sure as hell is NOT an agent of the school, nor by extension, the federal f***ing government.

The Supreme Court has affirmed (both cases I posted, I see).

here:

Supreme Court rejects case of valedictorian who mentioned Jesus

A high school valedictorian argued that her free-speech rights were violated when she was forced to apologize to the student body for talking about Jesus in her graduation speech. The Supreme Court refused to hear the case Monday.

By Warren Richey, Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor / November 30, 2009

Washington
A high school valedictorian in Colorado has lost her bid for the US Supreme Court to decide whether school officials violated her free-speech rights when they withheld her diploma until she agreed to apologize to the student body for mentioning Jesus in her graduation speech.

...

The Supreme Court has ruled that students do not "shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the school house gate." But the court has also ruled that school officials may sometimes restrict those rights during school-sponsored activities when the restrictions are "reasonably related to legitimate pedagogical concerns."

A federal judge dismissed Corder's lawsuit, ruling that school officials acted within their constitutional authority in preapproving graduation speeches and dictating the content of her apology statement. The Tenth US Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver upheld that ruling.

The case is Corder v. Lewis Palmer School District No. 38.

On Nov. 16, the Supreme Court turned down a similar case from Nevada. Brittany McComb had argued that her rights were violated when the microphone was turned off during her graduation speech, which contained religious themes.


http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2009/1130/p02s01-usju.html

listopencil
06-02-2011, 11:57 PM
I doubt that's the usual case. I gave one of the two speeches at my hs graduation, and it was not reviewed by anyone else.

I don't know how often it happens. I can tell you that in each of my kids' ceremonies the speeches were reviewed. Eight speeches at the local High School and eight at the Jr High so far.

Jenson71
06-02-2011, 11:58 PM
Rejecting a case does not mean affirming its holding.

ClevelandBronco
06-02-2011, 11:59 PM
Supreme Court rejects case of valedictorian who mentioned Jesus

Proving once again that I am full of shit up to my ears.

orange
06-02-2011, 11:59 PM
Rejecting a case does not mean affirming its holding.

It means the lower court decision STANDS.

Jenson71
06-03-2011, 12:00 AM
It means the lower court decision STANDS.

Which is different than affirming.

orange
06-03-2011, 12:02 AM
Which is different than affirming.

Is it the law or not?

Jenson71
06-03-2011, 12:05 AM
Is it the law or not?

Under that jurisdiction, yes. I still think that 2006 case is easily distinguishable.

listopencil
06-03-2011, 12:05 AM
Which is different than affirming.


How is that different than affirming the lower court ruling?

Jenson71
06-03-2011, 12:07 AM
How is that different than affirming the lower court ruling?

Rejecting a case could be for a lot of reasons, usually like there being more important issues (circuit splits) to deal with.

It has zero legal relevance to the integrity of the lower court's holding.

listopencil
06-03-2011, 12:11 AM
Rejecting a case could be for a lot of reasons, usually like there being more important issues (circuit splits) to deal with.

It has zero legal relevance to the integrity of the lower court's holding.

When they reject a case they know full well that the lower court ruling stays in effect, right?

Jenson71
06-03-2011, 12:18 AM
When they reject a case they know full well that the lower court ruling stays in effect, right?

Sure, but it doesn't mean the law has been decided as good law by the Supreme Court. It just means that law stands for that jurisdiction.

orange
06-03-2011, 12:24 AM
There is also a recent Supreme Court decision about students First Amendment rights. Morse v. Frederick.

Wiki summary:

First Amendment permits schools to restrict such speech
Finally, Roberts inquired whether a principal may restrict such speech. He concluded that she can.[26]

He began by reviewing the court's school speech jurisprudence:

First, Roberts recapitulated that student expression may be suppressed only if school officials reasonably conclude that it will "materially and substantially disrupt the work and discipline of the school" -- observing however that this doctrine came from a case (Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School Dist.) in which the students were engaging in "political speech" in "a silent, passive expression of opinion, unaccompanied by any disorder or disturbance" (wearing armbands, to express “disapproval of the Vietnam hostilities and their advocacy of a truce, to make their views known, and, by their example, to influence others to adopt them.” Id., at 514), and in which "[t]he only interest the Court discerned underlying the school’s actions was the “mere desire to avoid the discomfort and unpleasantness that always accompany an unpopular viewpoint,” or “an urgent wish to avoid the controversy which might result from the expression." Roberts commented on this opinion with a quote from Virginia v. Black -- that political speech is “at the core of what the First Amendment is designed to protect.” 538 U. S. 343, 365 (2003).

Second, Roberts cited Bethel School Dist. No. 403 v. Fraser. The jurisprudence of Fraser is controversial, but Roberts declining to apply or resolve the disputed holding of that case ("We need not resolve this debate to decide this case"); instead, he explained that "[f]or present purposes, it is enough to distill from Fraser two basic principles":
that “the constitutional rights of students in public school are not automatically coextensive with the rights of adults in other settings” (“in light of the special characteristics of the school environment”).[27]
that the “substantial disruption” analysis prescribed by Tinker "is not absolute" (i.e. it is flexible/optional).[28]

Third, Roberts cited the most recent student speech case, Hazelwood School Dist. v. Kuhlmeier. In that case, the Court permitted a school to "exercise editorial content over the style and content of student speech in school-sponsored expressive activities" (declining to publish articles in the school paper that "the public might reasonably perceive to bear the imprimatur of the school”) "so long as their actions are reasonably related to legitimate pedagogical concerns". Robert found that this case, though factually distinct, was "nevertheless instructive because it confirms both principles cited above".

Roberts then cited cases that cited Tinker in the course of interpreting the qualified status that other Constitutional rights acquire in schools -- Vernonia School Dist. 47J v. Acton, New Jersey v. T. L. O., Board of Ed. of Independent School Dist. No. 92 of Pottawatomie Cty. v. Earls. In light of these concerns, Roberts devoted his lengthiest analysis to the government's "important—indeed, perhaps compelling interest" in deterring drug use by students.[29] To this point, the opinion cited statistics illustrating the problems of youth drug abuse. It further noted that part of a school's educational mission "to educate students about the dangers of illegal drugs and to discourage their use".[30] The District Court also noted "peer pressure is perhaps 'the single most important factor leading school children to take drugs.'"[31] The Court's interpretation of Frederick's banner deemed the banner as a type of peer pressure. Based on these concerns, the opinion concluded that the principal's actions were motivated by a "serious and palpable" danger of drug abuse quite different from the amorphous fears of anti-war sentiment at play in Tinker.[32]

In Tinker, the school principal had punished students for wearing black anti-war armbands based on his "undifferentiated fear or apprehension of disturbance" or "mere desire to avoid... discomfort and unpleasantness."[32] Here, however, the concern about student drug abuse "extends well beyond an abstract desire to avoid controversy."[32] Principal Morse's failure to act against the banner "would send a powerful message to the students in her charge, including Frederick, about how serious the school was about the dangers of illegal drug use."[33] The First Amendment, concluded the opinion, "does not require schools to tolerate at school events student expression that contributes to those dangers."[33]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morse_v._Frederick

Now, you may believe the SCOTUS is going to carve out a religious exception; I don't think they're that brazen.

listopencil
06-03-2011, 12:28 AM
Sure, but it doesn't mean the law has been decided as good law by the Supreme Court. It just means that law stands for that jurisdiction.

Sure. But if the Supreme Court has already ruled on a similar case then it can be interpreted as decided.

orange
06-03-2011, 12:30 AM
Sure, but it doesn't mean the law has been decided as good law by the Supreme Court. It just means that law stands for that jurisdiction.

From those two non-decisions, school censorship of valedictory addresses is legal in the Ninth Circuit and the Tenth Circuit. And through Does 1-7 v. Round Rock Independent School District, it's legal in the Fifth Circuit (Texas) until the Fifth Circuit overrules that decision (which it hasn't up to now) - of course, they have a chance to do so now. I guess we may find out in a day or two - graduation is Saturday.

BigCatDaddy
06-03-2011, 09:45 AM
The churches would be empty in a couple years if they allowed it.

My church had a debate from a Christian Apologist and I believe a UMKC Professor was an athiest. I'm pretty sure everyone that planned on coming the following Sunday showed.

BigCatDaddy
06-03-2011, 10:02 AM
He said Congress begins each session with a prayer to God, and Biery's ruling would allow a student to "bend over in honor of Mecca," but not lead a prayer to the Christian God.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/02/us-prayer-graduation-texas-idUSTRE75177D20110602

Really? Not one comment on bending over for Mecca.

Simplex3
06-03-2011, 12:36 PM
My church had a debate from a Christian Apologist and I believe a UMKC Professor was an athiest. I'm pretty sure everyone that planned on coming the following Sunday showed.

Decades of being drilled with the Christian message including during formative years vs. one session where the atheist message was argued against. Not really surprising that no minds were changed is it?

I think people would be amazed at the number of agnostics and atheist who attend church, though. Especially in the Midwest.

BigCatDaddy
06-03-2011, 01:02 PM
Decades of being drilled with the Christian message including during formative years vs. one session where the atheist message was argued against. Not really surprising that no minds were changed is it?

I think people would be amazed at the number of agnostics and atheist who attend church, though. Especially in the Midwest.

Maybe not, but I thought it was pretty cool of our church to offer to host such a debate. According to some on here churches want you to come in with blinders on.

I don't know about their beliefs, but I do know there are a lot of churches and a lot of people that attend them.

listopencil
06-03-2011, 02:52 PM
Really? Not one comment on bending over for Mecca.

What?

JohnnyV13
06-03-2011, 06:14 PM
I hear that Rand Paul would have everyone at that graduation deported or arrested. :hmmm:

Hey, he loves freedom ya know!

Deberg_1990
06-03-2011, 07:21 PM
Appeals panel overturns Medina Valley graduation prayer ban



Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/article/Appeals-panel-overturns-Medina-Valley-graduation-1408548.php#ixzz1OGYLM2cN

A federal appeals panel ruled Friday that a judge here was wrong to bar public prayers from Saturday's graduation ceremony at Medina Valley High School.

All week, the furor over the issue had attracted activists and political players who criticized the decision and supported valedictorian Angela Hildenbrand, who wants to pray during her commencement speech.

The AGAPE Movement, a Christian group based in Wichita Falls, announced Friday it would make buses available to transport people to the school in Castroville for a “peaceful disagreement” with this week's ruling by Chief U.S. District Judge Fred Biery of San Antonio.

Hildenbrand said she was pleased and “so blessed that God has provided me with the opportunity to be a part of this case, and to be able to share with all my heart tomorrow night. ... Everything can go on as planned Saturday, and I'm free to pray as I feel appropriate.”

Kelly Shackelford, president/CEO of the Liberty Institute, a conservative non-profit that advocates for churches caught up in legal tangles and which represented Hildenbrand, called the ruling “a complete victory for religious freedom and for Angela.”

The Institute had said Friday that someone had called the high school and told a secretary that “Angela Hildenbrand better watch herself or she will get hurt” and said the Medina Valley Independent School District had reported it to Castroville police. Chris Martinez, the district's assistant superintendent, would not comment on it but said the district planned to beef up security at the graduation.

Federal courthouse sources in San Antonio, meanwhile, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Judge Biery and the court got more than 500 calls from people all over the country, demanding he change his ruling. Some callers said they would “kick his ass” or made similar threats.

Biery's order had said the school district must tell its graduation speakers that they can talk about religion and their personal beliefs but can't pray or call on the audience to pray.

He was responding to a lawsuit filed last week by the parents of Corwin Schultz, an agnostic member of Medina Valley's Class of 2011, that said the district regularly allowed prayers at graduations and other school events, which violated his constitutional rights.

“We are not persuaded that plaintiffs have shown that they are substantially likely to prevail on the merits (of their lawsuit), particularly on the issue that the individual prayers or other remarks to be given by students at graduation are, in fact, school-sponsored,” a three-judge panel of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals said in its ruling Friday afternoon.

The plaintiffs' arguments are rooted in circumstances that no longer exist, the appeals ruling stated, offering as an example that the school has “apparently abandoned” use of the terms “invocation” and “benediction” in the graduation program.

The school district had said Tuesday it would obey Biery's order. The next day, it said it would appeal.

Schultz and his parents declined comment and said through their lawyers at Americans United for the Separation of Church and State that they would not attend the graduation.

“We are, of course, deeply disappointed in this ruling. We remain convinced that the school district's promotion of religion at the graduation ceremony violates the Constitution, and the rights of families who do not share that perspective,” said Ayesha Khan, the Washington-based group's legal director, who said the lawsuit would continue but would be too late to affect Saturday's graduation.

“Students should be able to attend their graduation ceremonies without being pressured to participate in worship,” Khan said.

The appeals panel denied Hildenbrand's motion to intervene as a party to the suit. The Institute had sought that status for her, using arguments that overlapped with the school district's appeal.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott's office had filed an “amicus” brief supporting the district and saying the terms “invocation” and “benediction” should not be removed from the graduation program.

“It should not be illegal for students to say a prayer at a graduation ceremony. Now, the federal court of appeals agrees,” Abbott said in a prepared statement.

Social media sites burst this week with comments from former students who planned to pray themselves if the graduating class was not allowed to.

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn blasted Biery's order, saying it was hostile to “all things religious in public life.”

An AGAPE Movement press release said it was preparing to bus people to Castroville to “take a stand for these graduating students who made their own ceremony and prayers,” and that a rally near the graduation site had been “pre-approved” by Martinez, the district assistant superintendent.

Martinez said the district wasn't taking a position on the rally. The graduation is open to the public but he had asked rally organizers to keep a discrete distance from it, saying, “While we are very appreciative of all the support we have received, at the same time, this ceremony is about our students. ... We want to make sure students and families can relax and enjoy the graduation.”

Randy Funston, a Wichita Falls businessman and the AGAPE president, said Christians have “been quiet too long in what we consider unreasonable judicial decisions. Despite what some believe, this is still a Christian-based nation.”

Asked if she had any thoughts about Schultz and his parents, Hildenbrand said she wished them the best, “both tomorrow night and in their futures.”

Brock
06-03-2011, 08:41 PM
Damn those activist courts!

alnorth
06-03-2011, 09:40 PM
Pretty much as I'd hoped it would come down. The schools cant, and still cant get involved in any way with the planning, promoting, or encouragement of religion. However, students who are speaking are private citizens and are not school representatives, and they shouldn't be censored.

“We are not persuaded that plaintiffs have shown that they are substantially likely to prevail on the merits (of their lawsuit), particularly on the issue that the individual prayers or other remarks to be given by students at graduation are, in fact, school-sponsored,”

There is no supreme court ruling contradicting that. The only supreme court ruling applicable is consistent with this ruling, in that the school cant get involved. The other cases which were denied cert were basically all situations where the supreme court essentially said "you know what, students are/are not school representatives? We don't care. Do whatever you want, we've got more important cases to hear, we cant hear every little nit-picky constitutional issue."