Quantcast

«

»

Sep 23 2008

Kentucky News from Edwin Kagin

KENTUCKY ATHEISTS NEWS & NOTES Date: September 23, 2008

Kentucky Atheists, P.O. Box 666, Union, KY 41091; Email: [email protected]

Phone: (859) 384-7000; Fax: (859) 384-7324; Web: http://www.atheists.org/ky/

Editor’s personal web site: www.edwinkagin.com

Editor’s personal blog: http://edwinkagin.blogspot.com

Edited by:

Edwin Kagin, Kentucky State Director, American Atheists, Inc.

(AMERICAN ATHEISTS is a nationwide movement that defends civil rights for nonbelievers; works for the total separation of church and state; and addresses issues of First Amendment public policy.)

IT IS OKAY TO BE AN ATHEIST

To Unidentified Recipients:

Better get busy readers. People get the kind of government they deserve.

Vote for the least undesirable candidate who can be elected.

Edwin.

=====================================================================================

Edwin Kagin is to speak to San Francisco Atheists

On Saturday, September 27, 2008 at 6:00 pm.
At Schroeder’s Restaurant, rear dining room, 240 Front Street. SF Financial District, San Francisco, California (2 blocks north of Market, between California and Sacramento Streets. Use California Street cable car, or BART/MUNI Embarcadero stop. Parking on street or at nearby garage. Restaurant and bar remain open after meeting).
Topic:
“Laugh at Them: Humor as a Weapon Against the Evils of Fundangelicalism.”
“Being a review of the origins and progress of the American Religious Civil War, together with Battlefield Reports therefrom, all punctuated with samples of Edwinian humor as employed therein as a morally acceptable, yet fearsome, weapon of personal defense, and a balm for maintaining personal sanity.”

============================================================================================================================================
It’s not too early — make plans now to
join us for a seasonal tradition!
The 2008 AMERICAN ATHEISTS Winter Solstice Gala & CESAALA Dedication
Friday, December 12,
Saturday, December 13, 2008
http://www.atheists.org/wintersolstice.html

Mark your calendar now for a weekend of exciting events hosted by American Atheists and the Charles E. Stevens American Atheist Library & Archives (CESAALA)
Join us Friday afternoon, December 12, 2008 for an Open House and Dedication ceremony at the American Atheists Center in Cranford, NJ, and a tour of the largest private archive of Atheist, Freethough and related materials in the United States. This welcoming event runs from 1:00 PM to 7:00 PM, with a special ribbon-cutting at 1:30 to dedicate the remodeled Center and CESAALA facility, along with the new Eddie Tabash Conference Room. Special guided tours will be conducted. Included in the CESAALA facility are over 25,000 bound volumes, plus over 500,000 related items – pamphlets, signed letters, historical ephemera and other items that tell the story and preserve the legacy of Atheism and Freethought in America!
On Saturday, December 13, 2008, join us (11:30 AM – 4:00 PM) at the luxurious Crown Plaza Hotel n nearby Clark, NJ for the American Atheists 2008 Winter Solstice Gala featuring entertainment, speakers, great food and company and much, much more! Following the Solstice bash, make the short drive to the American Atheist Center for a live taping of the The Atheist Viewpoint television show in our new Conference Center, and more tours of our facility including CESAALA.
AND MAKE A FULL WEEKEND OF IT! We’ve arranged for a special rate at the Crowne Plaza Hotel that includes “shoulder dates” to allow you to visit the area, including nearby New York City! Rail transportation to Manhattan and other points is available at Cranford and Iselin-Metro Park. To qualify for the special rate of $109.00 (plus tax) per night – effective Thursday 12/11 through Wednesday 12/17) – you must make your arrangements directly with the Crown Plaza Hotel. Call them at 732-574-0100, or visit their web site.
Registration for the American Atheists 2008 Winter Solstice Gala is $34.00 per person ($17 for children ten and under) and includes all taxes and gratuities. There will be a cash bar. Register on-line using our secure transaction server below. Hurray, and reserve your seat now!

=======================================================================================================================================================================

From reader Jim:

A puff piece about creationism followed by my letter to the editor.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/creationist-britain-would-you-adam-and-eve-it-935419.html

Contrary to what reporters and columnists of your paper would have us believe, creationism is not a harmless belief. Creationism / Bible literalism is a growing movement that teaches children that the Earth is young and radiometry a lie, that dinosaurs and humans were once friends, that human beings have no genetic/ancestral relationship to other life forms, that all animals came from one of 16,000 “kinds” that an 700 year old Noah put on an Ark, and that there is a cabal of evil scientists that want to keep this information hidden from God-fearing people. Adults are free to believe this mumbo-jumbo. It is however, clearly an injustice when children are taught that these superstitious myths are true and/or that they deserve the respect of science educators. If Professor/Reverend Reiss had said that creationism and Intelligent Design are religious beliefs, have no scientific basis, and should be discussed in the science class as an example of what science isn’t, he would not have been asked to resign. He said no such thing.

If creationism is allowed into the science classroom, then so should other faith-based / evidence-lacking beliefs such as astrology, ESP, humans crawled out of volcanos (scientology), flying spaghetti monsters, etc. Take it from me, a former science teacher in the highly religious state of Kentucky in America (ranked 49th out of 50 states in education), any movement that teaches young people that much of modern science is the work of evil secularists and that the Bible, Koran, etc. already give us all the answers, is not a good thing. The goal of education is to eliminate ignorance, not give it equal billing.

Jim Willmot

Kentucky Action Alert. IGWT License Plates.

Representative Jim Gooch (D)

House District 12
Daviess (part)
Hopkins (part)
McLean
Webster

Mailing Address
714 North Broadway B2
Providence KY 42450
Frankfort Address(es)
702 Capitol Ave
Annex Room 370D
Frankfort KY 40601
Phone Number(s)
Home: (270) 667-7327
Annex: (502) 564-8100 Ext. 687
Work: (270) 635-1139
Work: (270) 667-5111 (fax)
Email Address(es)
Annex: [email protected]

*****

Representative Hubert Collins (D)

House District 97
Floyd (part)
Johnson
Martin
Pike (part)

Mailing Address
72 Collins Dr
Wittensville KY 41274
Frankfort Address(es)
702 Capitol Ave
Annex Room 329H
Frankfort KY 40601
Phone Number(s)
Home: (606) 297-3152
Annex: (502) 564-8100 Ext. 654
Uses LRC website e-mail form – http://www.lrc.ky.gov/Mailform/H097.htm

*****

Representative Rick G. Nelson (D)

House District 87
Bell
Harlan (part)

Mailing Address
Rt. 3 Box 686
Middlesboro KY 40965
Frankfort Address(es)
702 Capitol Ave
Annex Room 466D
Frankfort KY 40601
Phone Number(s)
Home: (606) 248-8828
Home: (606) 248-8828 (fax)
Annex: (502) 564-8100 Ext. 612
Email Address(es)
Annex: [email protected]
=====

http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/09RS/HB24.htm

BR 78 – Representative Jim Gooch Jr., Representative Hubert Collins (09/05/08)

AN ACT relating to motor vehicle license plates.

Create a new section of KRS Chapter 186 to establish an In God We Trust license plate as an alternate standard issue license plate; set forth design characteristics and eligibility standards; amend KRS 186.240 to conform; EFFECTIVE January 1, 2010.

(Prefiled by the sponsor(s).)

=====

AN ACT relating to motor vehicle license plates.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky:

âSECTION 1. A NEW SECTION OF KRS CHAPTER 186 IS CREATED TO READ AS FOLLOWS:

(1) The Transportation Cabinet shall design and distribute an “In God We Trust” license plate in respect and honor of the national motto of the United States. An “In God We Trust” license plate shall be available in the county clerk’s office as a regularly issued license plate in addition to the license plate issued pursuant to subsection (2) of Section 2 of this Act. The license plates shall be reflectorized and subject to the fifty cent ($0.50) fee collected and distributed pursuant to subsections (2)(c) and (3) of Section 2 of this Act. The cabinet shall prescribe a plate of practical form and size for law enforcement identification purposes and shall include the following design features:

(a) A basic design for the plate with an alpha numeric sequence displayed to properly identify the motor vehicle;

(b) A background design, emblem, or colors that include the word “Kentucky” and the words “In God We Trust” on the license plate; and

(c) Any other design features the cabinet determines to be appropriate.

(2) An “In God We Trust” license plate may be displayed on the following motor vehicles at the request of the owner:

(a) A motor vehicle registered pursuant to KRS 186.050(1) with payment of the appropriate fees; and

(b) A recreational vehicle registered pursuant to KRS 186.050(11) with payment of the appropriate fees.

(3) Any motor vehicle bearing the license plate established pursuant to this section shall be subject to all provisions of KRS 186.005 to 186.260 unless otherwise provided by this section.

âSection 2. KRS 186.240 is amended to read as follows:

(1) It shall be the duty of the cabinet to carry out the provisions of KRS 186.005 to 186.260, and:

(a) Prepare and furnish to the clerk in each county a sufficient supply of all forms and blanks provided for in KRS 186.005 to 186.260. The forms for receipts shall be designated for the writing of not less than triplicate copies, the originals of which shall be numbered consecutively for each county, the second and third copies bearing the same number as the original. Receipts to be used as duplicates for lost receipts, as provided in KRS 186.180(1), shall be in duplicate only, and shall not be numbered;

(b) Keep a numerical record of all registration numbers issued in the state, for which they may use the second copy of receipts forwarded by the clerk of each county, and also keep a record of motor or vehicle identification numbers required by KRS 186.160; and

(c) Furnish to each clerk, originally each year upon estimate, and thereafter upon requisition at all times, a sufficient supply of plates and other insignia evidencing registration for all classes of vehicles required to be registered. The cabinet shall prescribe a plate of practical form and size for police identification purposes that shall contain:

1. The registration number;

2. The word “Kentucky;” and

3. The name of the county in which the plate is issued, or in lieu thereof the words “Official,” “Transportation,” “Executive,” or “Farm.” Plates for commercial vehicles, shall contain the year the license expires and words or information the Department of Vehicle Regulation may prescribe by administrative regulation, pursuant to KRS Chapter 13A. Numerals indicating a year shall not be placed upon any license plate issued pursuant to KRS 186.060, relating to the licensing of vehicles owned exclusively by the state and KRS 186.061, relating to the licensing of vehicles owned exclusively by a nonprofit volunteer fire department, volunteer fire prevention unit, and volunteer fire protection unit. A state slogan may be placed upon the plate.

(2) License plates issued pursuant to KRS 186.050(1) shall conform to the provisions of subsection (1)(c) of this section except:

(a) The word “Kentucky” shall be centered above the county name in which the plate is issued;

(b) The words “Bluegrass State” shall be centered at the top of the plate above the registration number;[ and]

(c) The name of the county in which the plate is issued shall be centered in the lower portion of the plate below the registration number and shall be printed in letters that are the same size as those used to print the word “Kentucky.” Beginning January 1, 1993, the Transportation Cabinet shall provide for the issuance of reflectorized plates for all motor vehicles, and shall collect a fee, in addition to the fee set out in KRS Chapter 186 and KRS 281.860, of fifty cents ($0.50). The fifty cents ($0.50) fee to reflectorize license plates shall be used by the cabinet as provided in subsection (3) of this section; and

(d) The “In God We Trust” license plate shall conform with the provisions of subsection (1) of Section 1 of this Act.

(3) The reflectorized license plate program fund is established in the state road fund and appropriated on a continual basis to the cabinet to administer the moneys as provided in this subsection. The fifty cents ($0.50) fee collected by the cabinet to reflectorize license plates shall be deposited into the program fund and used to issue reflectorized license plates. If at the end of a fiscal year, money remains in the program fund, it shall be retained in the fund and shall not revert to the state road fund. The interest and income earned on money in the program fund shall also be retained in the program fund to carry out the provisions of this subsection. The Transportation Cabinet shall begin issuing the new reflectorized license plate under the provisions of this subsection on January 1, 2003, and shall continue to issue a new reflectorized license plate on a schedule to be determined at the discretion of the cabinet in the years thereafter;

(4) Except as directed under subsection (3) of this section, the Transportation Cabinet shall receive all moneys forwarded by the clerk in each county and turn it over to the State Treasurer for the benefit of the state road fund;

(5) The Transportation Cabinet shall require an accounting by the clerk in each county for any moneys received by him under the provisions of this chapter, after the deduction of his fees under this chapter, and for all receipts, forms, plates, and insignia consigned to him. The Auditor of Public Accounts, pursuant to KRS 43.071, shall annually audit each county clerk concerning his responsibilities for the collection of various fees and taxes associated with motor vehicles. The secretary of the Transportation Cabinet, with the advice, consultation, and approval of the Auditor, shall develop and implement an inventory and accounting system which shall insure that the audits mandated in KRS 43.071 are performed in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards. The Transportation Cabinet shall pay for the audits mandated by KRS 43.071; and

(6) When applied for under KRS 186.160, motor or vehicle numbers assigned shall be distinctive to show that they were designated by the cabinet.

âSection 3. This Act takes effect January 1, 2010.

=====

http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/09RS/HB25.htm

BR 120 – Representative Rick G. Nelson (09/15/08)

AN ACT relating to motor vehicle license plates.

Create a new section of KRS Chapter 186 to establish an “In God We Trust” license plate as an alternate standard issue license plate; set forth design characteristics and eligibility standards; amend KRS 186.240 to conform; EFFECTIVE January 1, 2010.

(Prefiled by the sponsor(s).)

AN ACT relating to motor vehicle license plates.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky:

âSECTION 1. A NEW SECTION OF KRS CHAPTER 186 IS CREATED TO READ AS FOLLOWS:

(1) The Transportation Cabinet shall design and distribute an “In God We Trust” license plate in respect and honor of the national motto of the United States. An “In God We Trust” license plate shall be available in the county clerk’s office as a regularly issued license plate in addition to the license plate issued pursuant to subsection (2) of Section 2 of this Act. The license plates shall be reflectorized and subject to the fifty cent ($0.50) fee collected and distributed pursuant to subsections (2)(c) and (3) of Section 2 of this Act. The cabinet shall prescribe a plate of practical form and size for law enforcement identification purposes and shall include the following design features:

(a) A basic design for the plate with an alpha numeric sequence displayed to properly identify the motor vehicle;

(b) A background design, emblem, or colors that include the word “Kentucky” and the words “In God We Trust” on the license plate; and

(c) Any other design features the cabinet determines to be appropriate.

(2) An “In God We Trust” license plate may be displayed on the following motor vehicles at the request of the owner:

(a) A motor vehicle registered pursuant to KRS 186.050(1) with payment of the appropriate fees; and

(b) A recreational vehicle registered pursuant to KRS 186.050(11) with payment of the appropriate fees.

(3) Any motor vehicle bearing the license plate established pursuant to this section shall be subject to all provisions of KRS 186.005 to 186.260 unless otherwise provided by this section.

âSection 2. KRS 186.240 is amended to read as follows:

(1) It shall be the duty of the cabinet to carry out the provisions of KRS 186.005 to 186.260, and:

(a) Prepare and furnish to the clerk in each county a sufficient supply of all forms and blanks provided for in KRS 186.005 to 186.260. The forms for receipts shall be designated for the writing of not less than triplicate copies, the originals of which shall be numbered consecutively for each county, the second and third copies bearing the same number as the original. Receipts to be used as duplicates for lost receipts, as provided in KRS 186.180(1), shall be in duplicate only, and shall not be numbered;

(b) Keep a numerical record of all registration numbers issued in the state, for which they may use the second copy of receipts forwarded by the clerk of each county, and also keep a record of motor or vehicle identification numbers required by KRS 186.160; and

(c) Furnish to each clerk, originally each year upon estimate, and thereafter upon requisition at all times, a sufficient supply of plates and other insignia evidencing registration for all classes of vehicles required to be registered. The cabinet shall prescribe a plate of practical form and size for police identification purposes that shall contain:

1. The registration number;

2. The word “Kentucky;” and

3. The name of the county in which the plate is issued, or in lieu thereof the words “Official,” “Transportation,” “Executive,” or “Farm.” Plates for commercial vehicles, shall contain the year the license expires and words or information the Department of Vehicle Regulation may prescribe by administrative regulation, pursuant to KRS Chapter 13A. Numerals indicating a year shall not be placed upon any license plate issued pursuant to KRS 186.060, relating to the licensing of vehicles owned exclusively by the state and KRS 186.061, relating to the licensing of vehicles owned exclusively by a nonprofit volunteer fire department, volunteer fire prevention unit, and volunteer fire protection unit. A state slogan may be placed upon the plate.

(2) License plates issued pursuant to KRS 186.050(1) shall conform to the provisions of subsection (1)(c) of this section except:

(a) The word “Kentucky” shall be centered above the county name in which the plate is issued;

(b) The words “Bluegrass State” shall be centered at the top of the plate above the registration number;[ and]

(c) The name of the county in which the plate is issued shall be centered in the lower portion of the plate below the registration number and shall be printed in letters that are the same size as those used to print the word “Kentucky.” Beginning January 1, 1993, the Transportation Cabinet shall provide for the issuance of reflectorized plates for all motor vehicles, and shall collect a fee, in addition to the fee set out in KRS Chapter 186 and KRS 281.860, of fifty cents ($0.50). The fifty cents ($0.50) fee to reflectorize license plates shall be used by the cabinet as provided in subsection (3) of this section; and

(d) The “In God We Trust” license plate shall conform with the provisions of subsection (1) of Section 1 of this Act.

(3) The reflectorized license plate program fund is established in the state road fund and appropriated on a continual basis to the cabinet to administer the moneys as provided in this subsection. The fifty cents ($0.50) fee collected by the cabinet to reflectorize license plates shall be deposited into the program fund and used to issue reflectorized license plates. If at the end of a fiscal year, money remains in the program fund, it shall be retained in the fund and shall not revert to the state road fund. The interest and income earned on money in the program fund shall also be retained in the program fund to carry out the provisions of this subsection. The Transportation Cabinet shall begin issuing the new reflectorized license plate under the provisions of this subsection on January 1, 2003, and shall continue to issue a new reflectorized license plate on a schedule to be determined at the discretion of the cabinet in the years thereafter;

(4) Except as directed under subsection (3) of this section, the Transportation Cabinet shall receive all moneys forwarded by the clerk in each county and turn it over to the State Treasurer for the benefit of the state road fund;

(5) The Transportation Cabinet shall require an accounting by the clerk in each county for any moneys received by him under the provisions of this chapter, after the deduction of his fees under this chapter, and for all receipts, forms, plates, and insignia consigned to him. The Auditor of Public Accounts, pursuant to KRS 43.071, shall annually audit each county clerk concerning his responsibilities for the collection of various fees and taxes associated with motor vehicles. The secretary of the Transportation Cabinet, with the advice, consultation, and approval of the Auditor, shall develop and implement an inventory and accounting system which shall insure that the audits mandated in KRS 43.071 are performed in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards. The Transportation Cabinet shall pay for the audits mandated by KRS 43.071; and

(6) When applied for under KRS 186.160, motor or vehicle numbers assigned shall be distinctive to show that they were designated by the cabinet.

âSection 3. This Act takes effect January 1, 2010.

And yet another attempt by the forces of darkness:

Representative Melvin B. Henley (D)

House District 5
Calloway
Trigg (part)

Mailing Address
1305 South 16th St
Murray KY 42071
Frankfort Address(es)
702 Capitol Ave
Annex Room 432C
Frankfort KY 40601
Phone Number(s)
Home: (270) 753-3855
Annex: (502) 564-8100 Ext. 611
Use LRC website form for e-mail ( http://www.lrc.ky.gov/Mailform/H005.htm )

=====

http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/09RS/HB25.htm

BR 120 – Representative Rick G. Nelson (09/15/08)

AN ACT relating to motor vehicle license plates.

Create a new section of KRS Chapter 186 to establish an “In God We Trust” license plate as an alternate standard issue license plate; set forth design characteristics and eligibility standards; amend KRS 186.240 to conform; EFFECTIVE January 1, 2010.

(Prefiled by the sponsor(s).)

=====

And, this . . . .

http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/09RS/HB8.htm

BR 21 – Representative Melvin B. Henley (06/19/08)

AN ACT relating to voluntary student expression of religious viewpoints in public schools.

Amend KRS 158.183 to permit students to voluntarily express religious viewpoints in school assignments free from discrimination and organize prayer groups, religious clubs, or other religious gatherings before, during, and after school to the same extent that students are permitted to organize other noncurricular student activities and groups; create a new section of KRS Chapter 158 to require each board of education to adopt and implement a policy regarding voluntary student expression of religious viewpoints and to establish a limited public forum for student speakers at all school events at which a student is to publicly speak, including graduation; designate procedure for selection of student speakers; require subject of speech to be relevant to event; require district disclaimer indicating nonendorsement of the content of voluntary expressions by students.

(Prefiled by the sponsor(s).)
To: Interim Joint Committee on Education

=====

AN ACT relating to voluntary student expression of religious viewpoints in public schools.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky:

âSection 1. KRS 158.183 is amended to read as follows:

(1) A student shall have the right to carry out an activity described in any of paragraphs (a) to (d) of subsection (2) of this section, if the student does not:

(a) Infringe on the rights of the school to:

1. Maintain order and discipline;

2. Prevent disruption of the educational process; and

3. Determine educational curriculum and assignments;

(b) Harass other persons or coerce other persons to participate in the activity; or

(c) Otherwise infringe on the rights of other persons.

(2) Subject to the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, a student shall be permitted to voluntarily:

(a) Pray in a public school, vocally or silently, alone or with other students to the same extent and under the same circumstances as a student is permitted to vocally or silently reflect, meditate, or speak on nonreligious matters alone or with other students in the public school;

(b) Express religious viewpoints in a public school to the same extent and under the same circumstances as a student is permitted to express viewpoints on nonreligious topics or subjects in the school;

(c) Express religious viewpoints in homework, artwork, and other written and oral assignments free from discrimination based on the religious content of the submissions;

(d) Speak to and attempt to discuss religious viewpoints with other students in a public school to the same extent and under the same circumstances as a student is permitted to speak to and attempt to share nonreligious viewpoints with other students. However, any student may demand that this speech or these attempts to share religious viewpoints not be directed at him or her;

(e) Organize prayer groups, religious clubs, or other religious gatherings before, during, and after school to the same extent that students are permitted to organize other noncurricular student activities and groups;

(f)[(d)] Distribute religious literature in a public school, subject to reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions to the same extent and under the same circumstances as a student is permitted to distribute literature on nonreligious topics or subjects in the school; and

(g)[(e)] Be absent, in accordance with attendance policy, from a public school to observe religious holidays and participate in other religious practices to the same extent and under the same circumstances as a student is permitted to be absent from a public school for nonreligious purposes.

(3) No action may be maintained under KRS 158.181 to 158.187 unless the student has exhausted the following administrative remedies:[;]

(a) The student or the student’s parent or guardian shall state his or her complaint to the school’s principal. The principal shall investigate and take appropriate action to ensure the rights of the student are resolved within seven (7) days of the date of the complaint;

(b) If the concerns are not resolved, then the student or the student’s parent or guardian shall make a complaint in writing to the superintendent with the specific facts of the alleged violation;

(c) The superintendent shall investigate and take appropriate action to ensure that the rights of the student are resolved within thirty (30) days of the date of the written complaint; and

(d) Only after the superintendent’s investigation and action may a student or the student’s parent or legal guardian pursue any other legal action.

âSECTION 2. A NEW SECTION OF KRS CHAPTER 158 IS CREATED TO READ AS FOLLOWS:

(1) A board of education shall adopt and implement a local policy regarding voluntary student expression of religious viewpoints that includes the following provisions:

(a) A student’s voluntary expression of a religious viewpoint, if any, on an otherwise permissible subject shall be treated in the same manner as a student’s voluntary expression of a secular or other viewpoint on an otherwise permissible subject, and the district may not discriminate against the student based on a religious viewpoint expressed by the student on an otherwise permissible subject;

(b) Homework and classroom assignments must be judged by ordinary academic standards of substance and relevance. Students may not be penalized or rewarded on account of the religious content of their work;

(c) Student religious groups must be given the same access to school facilities for assembling as is given to other noncurricular student groups. If student groups that meet for nonreligious activities are permitted to advertise or announce meetings of the groups, the school district may not discriminate against groups that meet for prayer or other religious speech. This provision extends to advertising in a student newspaper, putting up posters, posting on a student activities bulletin board or Web page, making announcements on a public address system or Web cast, or handing out leaflets to the same extent provided to student groups that meet for nonreligious activities; and

(d) A disclaimer that school sponsorship of noncurricular groups and events neither favors nor disfavors groups that meet to engage in prayer or religious speech.

(2) A board of education shall adopt and implement a local policy regarding the establishment of a limited public forum for student speakers at all school events at which a student is to publicly speak. The general policy for limited public forums shall:

(a) Require that a limited public forum be provided in a manner that does not discriminate against a student’s voluntary expression of a religious viewpoint, if any, on an otherwise permissible subject;

(b) Provide a method, based on neutral criteria, for the selection of student speakers at school events and graduation ceremonies;

(c) Ensure that a student speaker does not engage in obscene, vulgar, offensively lewd, or indecent speech;

(d) State, in writing, orally, or both, that the student’s speech does not reflect the endorsement, sponsorship, position, or expression of the district; and

(e) Include a disclaimer to be provided at all graduation ceremonies or any other event at which a student speaks publicly to affirm the district’s nonsponsorship of the student’s speech.

(3) A board of education shall adopt and implement a local policy regarding the establishment of a limited public forum providing an opportunity for students to speak at graduation ceremonies. The policy may include the following criteria:

(a) 1. A student may be selected to speak to begin graduation ceremonies and another student to speak to end graduation ceremonies.

2. For each speaker, the district shall set a maximum time limit reasonable and appropriate for the occasion.

3. Only students who are graduating and who hold one (1) of the following neutral criteria positions of honor shall be eligible to use the limited public forum:

a. Student council officers;

b. Class officers of the graduating class;

c. The top three (3) academically ranked graduates; or

d. A shorter or longer list of student leaders as the school district may designate.

4. A student who will otherwise have a speaking role in the graduation ceremony is ineligible to give the opening and closing remarks.

5. The name of the eligible volunteering students will be randomly drawn with the first name drawn assigned the opening and the second name drawn assigned the closing.

6. The topic of the opening and closing remarks shall be related to the purpose of the graduation ceremony and to the purpose of marking the opening and closing of the event, honoring the occasion, the participants, and those in attendance, bringing the audience to order, and focusing the audience on the purpose of the event;

(b) 1. In addition to the students giving the opening and closing remarks, certain other students who have attained special positions of honor based on neutral criteria, including without limitation the valedictorian, may have speaking roles at graduation.

2. For each speaker, the school district shall set a maximum time limit reasonable and appropriate to the occasion and to the position held by the speaker.

3. a. The subject of the addresses shall be related to the purpose of the graduation ceremony, marking and honoring the occasion, honoring the participants and those in attendance, and the student’s perspective on purpose, achievement, life, school, graduation, and looking forward to the future.

b. The student shall not engage in obscene, vulgar, offensively lewd, or indecent speech.

c. The student’s voluntary expression of a religious viewpoint, if any, on an otherwise permissible subject, shall be viewed in the same manner as a student’s voluntary expression of a secular or other viewpoint, and the district may not discriminate against the student based on a religious viewpoint expressed by the student on an otherwise permissible subject; and

(c) A written disclaimer shall be printed in the graduation program such as: “The students who will be speaking at the graduation ceremony were selected based on neutral criteria to deliver messages representing the students’ own choices and opinions. The content of each student speaker’s message is the private expression of the individual student and does not reflect any position or expression of the board of education, the district’s administration, employees of the district, or the views of any other graduate. The content of these messages were prepared by the student volunteers, and the district refrained from any interaction with student speakers regarding the student speakers’ viewpoints on permissible subjects.”

(4) (a) A board of education shall adopt and implement a local policy regarding the establishment of a limited public forum providing an opportunity for students to speak at events other than graduation.

(b) For each speaker, the district shall set a maximum time limit reasonable and appropriate to the occasion.

(c) Student speakers may introduce:

1. Athletic events designated by the district;

2. Opening announcements and greetings for the school day; and

3. Any additional events designated by the district, which may include without limitation assemblies and pep rallies.

(d) Only those students in the highest two (2) grade levels of the school and who hold one (1) of the following positions of honor based on neutral criteria are eligible to use the limited public forum:

1. Student council officers;

2. Class officers of the highest grade level in the school;

3. Captains of sports teams; and

4. Other students holding positions of honor as the school district may designate.

(e) An eligible student shall be notified of the student’s eligibility, and a student who wishes to participate as an introducing speaker shall submit his or her name to the student council or other designated body during an announced period of not less than three (3) days.

(f) The announced period may be at the beginning of the school year, at the end of the preceding school year so that student speakers are in place for the new year, or, if the selection process will be repeated each semester, at the beginning of each semester or at the end of the preceding semester so speakers are in place for the next semester.

(g) The names of the volunteering student speakers shall be randomly drawn until all names have been selected, and the names shall be listed in the order drawn.

(h) Each selected student will be matched chronologically to the event for which the student will be giving the introduction.

(i) Each student may speak for one (1) week at a time for all introductions of events that week, or rotate after each speaking event, or otherwise as determined by the district.

(j) The list of student speakers shall be chronologically repeated as needed, in the same order. The district may repeat the selection process each semester rather than once per year.

(k) 1. The subject of the student introductions must be related to the purpose of the event and to the purpose of marking the opening of the event, honoring the occasion, the participants, and those in attendance, bringing the audience to order, and focusing the audience on the purpose of the event.

2. The student shall not engage in obscene, vulgar, offensively lewd, or indecent speech.

3. A student’s voluntary expression of a religious viewpoint, if any, on an otherwise permissible subject shall be treated in the same manner as the district treats a student’s voluntary expression on a secular or other viewpoint on an otherwise permissible subject, and the district may not discriminate against the student based on a religious viewpoint expressed by the student on an otherwise permissible subject.

(l) At each event in which a student will deliver an introduction, a disclaimer shall be stated in written or oral form, or both, such as “The student giving the introduction for this event is a volunteering student selected on neutral criteria to introduce the event. The content of the introduction is the private expression of the student and does not reflect the endorsement, sponsorship, position, or expression of the school district.”

(m) Certain students who have attained a special position of honor in the school have traditionally addressed school audiences from to time in recognition of their achieved positions of honor, such as the captains of various sports teams, student council officers, class officers, homecoming kings and queens, prom kings and queens, and the like, and have attained their positions based on neutral criteria. Nothing in the board policy shall eliminate the continuation of the practice of having these students, regardless of grade level, address school audiences in the normal course of their respective positions.

âSection 3. This Act shall be implemented beginning with the 2009-2010 school year and shall be referred to as the “Public School Student’s Religious Liberties Act.”

Leave a Reply