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Silverwind
11-10-2004, 10:46 PM
http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/news.aspx?id=14328

Pagan student settles case against Tennessee district

By The Associated Press
11.08.04

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. A $50,000 settlement has been reached in the case of a 14-year-old girl whose parents sued the Union County school system alleging their daughter was harassed for the family's pagan beliefs.

The settlement, which was entered into federal court last month and announced on Nov. 5, marks the end of a civil rights lawsuit brought against the Union County Board of Education in February 2003.

India Tracy was a 14-year-old student at Maynardville's Horace Maynard Middle School when her parents, Greg and Sarajane Tracy, filed the lawsuit on her behalf.

In addition to the money, which the Tracys are to split with their attorney and put toward private school for India, the settlement spells out guidelines for how the school system addresses outside religious events, such as crusades that students attend during school time.

Since 1990, Gary Beeler, a Union County pastor, has been sponsoring such revivals "to provide a safe environment where the people can be presented the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ."

Students who have permission slips signed by their parents receive an excused absence for attending, just as they would under "release time" for a doctor's appointment.

The Tracys said India was being harassed for not attending the annual revival between 1999 and 2001, and that the school system was crossing the line between church and state drawn by the First Amendment.

The family practices paganism, which the Pagan Federation describes as an ancient religious tradition that embraces kinship with nature, positive morality and acknowledges both the female and male side of deity.

The new guidelines which still must be approved by the board of education help redraw that line, the Tracys said, as they celebrated with champagne at their attorney's office.

U.S. District Judge Thomas A. Varlan also must approve the settlement.

"Nobody has a problem with people having the freedom to express their religion in the schools," said the family's attorney, Margaret Held. "It's just that in the Tracy case, it crossed the line because the school was sponsoring or at least appearing to sponsor one religion or another."

John Duffy, the attorney who represented the board, contended that the school system did not violate any constitutional rights.

"It is my opinion that the First Amendment would require the Board of Education to allow parents to withdraw their kids from school for a religious holiday or event," Duffy said.

Specifically, the new requirements state that permission slips for the religious events an be handed out only in common areas at the school, not in classrooms. And when the event hires buses that are marked "Union County Schools" to transport students, a sign "that is visible to passers-by" must say who is providing the transportation services and that they are not costing the school system.

Also, school employees who chaperone students to the crusades or other religious events during school hours must wear a name tag saying they are on leave from their job.

Charles Thomas, the superintendent of Union County Public Schools, said the proposed guidelines would not greatly affect the school system.

"I think that really what this settlement will do will solidify our neutrality in this," Thomas said. "I think it's going to call on the organizers of the crusade to do some things that clearly establish they are independent of the school system."

India, who is now 15 and attends a private school in Knox County, says it is hard to believe the case is over.

"It kind of feels weird," she said. "It's just been in my life, and now it's out of my life. I have been through this since I was nine."

Dmitri
11-11-2004, 08:35 AM
That is awesome news... I have a feeling I will be fighting with Schools when my Daughter is older... For this such as:

Representitive Republic rather than Democracy

Jesus was born in the summer and Christianity is based on older Trinity religions. That the New testament is a rewrite of the old, that replaces Moses with Jesus.

We fought the Civil War to prevent Seccession freeing slaves was an insulting and demoralizing by-product. That this country's foundation was built on slave labor until the industrial revolution, not on the hard work of free men.

Hilter, while sick, demented and completely evil, was a charismatic genius of a leader.

I want Katya to know the TRUTH... Not what the History books tell or what ethnic or religious lobbyist want the populace to believe.

Mylilpinkpig
11-11-2004, 08:58 AM
why can't these revivals be held on a saturday? Why are they being held during school hours? I don't think its a legitimate reason to miss school.

Janelle of Warren
11-11-2004, 07:47 PM
[quote="Silverwind"]http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/news.aspx?id=14328

Specifically, the new requirements state that permission slips for the religious events an be handed out only in common areas at the school, not in classrooms. And when the event hires buses that are marked "Union County Schools" to transport students, a sign "that is visible to passers-by" must say who is providing the transportation services and that they are not costing the school system.

Also, school employees who chaperone students to the crusades or other religious events during school hours must wear a name tag saying they are on leave from their job.


UMMMM...........the event can hire school busses from the school system during school hours for this event? Don't the SCHOOLS need them then??

UMMM..........schol employees can chaperone students to these events during school hours? In my school sytem, we have some very specific reasons for being away from the job (illness, caring for an ill family member, jury duty, ect.) Basically, if you're not ill or caring for a seriously ill family member, you have to have a very good reason for not being at your job. Chaperoning students to a non-school-related function DEFINITELY would not qualify!

I'm extremely happy for this family, but appalled by what still passes for separation of church and state in that district. How common is this kind of thing? Maybe being from the northeast I've lived in a bit of a different world.......

Eric McTavish
11-12-2004, 08:05 AM
That is awesome news... I have a feeling I will be fighting with Schools when my Daughter is older... For this such as:

Representitive Republic rather than Democracy

Jesus was born in the summer and Christianity is based on older Trinity religions. That the New testament is a rewrite of the old, that replaces Moses with Jesus.

We fought the Civil War to prevent Seccession freeing slaves was an insulting and demoralizing by-product. That this country's foundation was built on slave labor until the industrial revolution, not on the hard work of free men.

Hilter, while sick, demented and completely evil, was a charismatic genius of a leader.

I want Katya to know the TRUTH... Not what the History books tell or what ethnic or religious lobbyist want the populace to believe.
gee what do you know your right on all the accounts above but seems that TRUTH dosent really matter I failed a History paper in school once because I wrote on Lt Day for my paper on the Battle of Midway (Lt day saw the entire battle from the water after he was shot down in the midst of the Jap. Fleet) My teacher thought I got Lt Day from the Movie Midway and made the rest up (even tho I cited books and facts etc... Truth is wht the person ion charce says it is it seems!

Dmitri
11-12-2004, 08:23 AM
[I failed a History paper in school once because I wrote on Lt Day for my paper on the Battle of Midway (Lt day saw the entire battle from the water after he was shot down in the midst of the Jap. Fleet) My teacher thought I got Lt Day from the Movie Midway and made the rest up (even tho I cited books and facts etc... Truth is wht the person in charge says it is it seems!

Umm... did you bring that to the head of the History Dept? Shit there are ways to get that grade removed and replaced with an appropriate one...

Eric McTavish
11-12-2004, 08:46 AM
[I failed a History paper in school once because I wrote on Lt Day for my paper on the Battle of Midway (Lt day saw the entire battle from the water after he was shot down in the midst of the Jap. Fleet) My teacher thought I got Lt Day from the Movie Midway and made the rest up (even tho I cited books and facts etc... Truth is wht the person in charge says it is it seems!

Umm... did you bring that to the head of the History Dept? Shit there are ways to get that grade removed and replaced with an appropriate one...

this was waaayy back in High School and yes I did fight it but...never did get any credit for the paper.

Phoenix McHeit
11-12-2004, 09:01 AM
aww man Eric - that sucks... I had a similar thing happen... not with History, though. But I did get the grade changed... and gained new respect from my teacher in the process.

Maybe its cuz it happened in 3rd grade and I wuz just so durned cute.......

Nevada
11-12-2004, 11:34 AM
What I find funny is that I wrote a paper back in high school explaining why the middles east was the next hot spot...had back up from local military officials etc...got a c..my then teacher was very focused on the communist threat...too bad it collapsed less than 2 years later...wonder what he focused on then