Quantcast

«

»

Jul 14 2013

Court Rules Public School Can’t Farm Out to Christian School

In Jefferson County, Tennessee, the local public school district decided in 2003 to close its Alternative School — the school for kids who get expelled or in some other kind of trouble — and farm out the education of those students to Kingswood School, Inc., a Christian school. A federal judge has now ruled that this is a violation of the Establishment Clause.

Even after Kingswood took over the alternative school services for all of JeffersonCounty, Kingswood continued to refer to itself as a “Christian environment” in some of its documents.

The Kingswood Easter 2006 letter quotes Luke 18:16 and displays crosses at the top of the page,with the words, “Kingswood School is unique because we offer children a Christian environment….Kingswood remains one of the few places where children in need come get help in a Christian environment.We are a non-profit faith based ministry…” 25.

Kingswood’s website indicates “Kingswood has survived independently by remaining true in faith to the principals of a Christian education without being bound to the doctrine of a particular denomination or sect’s control.”…

Kingswood implemented a Family Feedback Policy, which required students to submit a Family Feedback form every week.

Failure to complete and return a weekly Family Feedback form would prevent a student from advancing at Kingswood.

Kingswood’s weekly Family Feedback form contained biblical scripture and was required to be signed by the parents of all of Kingswood students.

Kingswood’s Report Cards for Jefferson County Alternative School students contained biblical scripture quoting the Gospel of Luke 18:16 and were required to be signed by each parent…

In this case, a “reasonable observer” would see the Board’s decision to contract with a self-proclaimed “religious institution,” conveys a message of religious endorsement, running afoul of the Establishment Clause.

Now we need to get rid of all those released-time programs that the courts have allowed for far too long. You can read the full ruling here.

7 comments

1 ping

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    barbaraeckstein

    once in a while you get a small sigh of relief.

  2. 2
    Pierce R. Butler

    Why should anyone feel confidence in a school whose promotional materials were written by people who don’t know the difference between “principles” and “principals”?

  3. 3
    Michael Heath

    Kingswood’s website indicates “Kingswood has survived independently by remaining true in faith to the principals of a Christian education without being bound to the doctrine of a particular denomination or sect’s control.”…

    A nuclear-grade whoosh that reminds me of the John Belushi SNL skit on cheeseburgers and Pepsi. Though Belushi’s character didn’t dishonestly deny what he was offering as we observe here.

    I’m also confident Kingswood’s authority figures monolithically promote the idea that Jesus existed and remains a part of a trinitarian godhead; rather than claim he was a mere human being unique in his time for being wired into natural law and the human condition, as some Christians believe. The former position would falsify their claim they’re not, “bound to the doctrine of a particular denomination or sect’s control.”

    I wonder if they’ve ever had any unrepentantly out GBLT house parents. I bet not. See here for what their house parents do: http://goo.gl/7TE3g

  4. 4
    Modusoperandi

    Michael Heath, you’re just being ridiculous. Just because they aren’t “bound to the doctrine of a particular denomination or sect’s control” doesn’t mean they put up with the Unitarian heresy!

  5. 5
    Chiroptera

    Sounds to me like that “ceremonial Deism” I keep hearing about.

  6. 6
    exdrone

    The judge says that the Kingswood Easter letter quotes Luke 18:16, which is the “suffer the little children to come unto me” verse, but I think that’s a misprint. It was supposed to be Luke 18:10 – “Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.” It was the start of an SAT math problem. You know the one. The Pharisee walks at a rate of 1 mph, and the publican walks at a rate of 2 mph but stops every 15 minutes to pray. It ends, “Verily I say unto you, who arrives at the temple first.”

  7. 7
    Modusoperandi

    exdrone, word problems are Satan’s domain, not God’s.

  1. 8
    Court Rules Public School Can’t Farm Out to Christian School |

    [...] Continue Reading… [...]

Leave a Reply

Switch to our mobile site