Saturday, September 30, 2006

lawsuit for praying in public schools

my elementary school is now under a lawsuit. it made the front page of the tennessean yesterday and i think its just not worth the trouble. here's the article-

"School-based religious activities, heralded by some who welcome a return of God to public classrooms, came under fire in a new lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee this week.
The lawsuit claims that a series of Christian meetings and prayer events at Lakeview Elementary School in Mt. Juliet violated the constitution al separation of church and state and illegally subjected young children to "religious proselytizing."
But many involved in public school education say that religion is exactly what's been missing.
"I know there is going to be some conflict and controversy about this … but I believe we need basic religion in our schools to teach children the way God would have them go," said Will Duncan, a member of the Sumner County Board of Education. "If we don't, somewhere down the line we are going to lose a whole generation of children."
But others say that exposing children to God and religion is clearly not the role of public schools.
"Parents should be the ones to decide which religion, if any, they should expose their children to," said Rob Boston, assistant director of communications for the Washington, D.C.-based Americans United for Separation of Church and State. "When school officials step into that role and start promoting particular faiths, they are usurping parental rights."
It is a perennial debate. In 1999, parents of some fifth-graders in Warren County public schools took issue with educators who allowed representatives of the Gideons ministry to distribute New Testaments in school.
That same year, members of the Putnam County Board of Education vowed to continue to begin their monthly meetings with prayer, despite a federal appellate court's ruling that such prayer is unconstitutional.
A few years earlier, in Lebanon, the Mighty Men, who perform feats of strength in between testifying about their Christian faith, canceled an appearance after school officials became concerned, in part, about the performance taking place during the school day.
The ACLU's lawsuit was filed on behalf of two Old Hickory parents, who said their son — a kindergartner last year — was exposed to religious events and messages that were "coercive" and "highly offensive."
The activities included a "Praying Parents" group that regularly met in the school cafeteria during school hours and dropped off fliers in classrooms to let children know they'd been prayed for, according to the suit.
And it says that the school observed "National Day of Prayer" by holding a competition for students to draw posters promoting the day, handing out stickers that said "I prayed" to students who'd participated and encouraging students to link up for the day with "prayer buddies."
Those students without a prayer buddy or a sticker stood out, "disfavored and isolated," the suit said.
ACLU attorney Eddie Schmidt said he did not object to religious events that took place on school grounds before or after the school day, as long as they did not involve the endorsement and promotion by school officials. Some of these events, however, did take place during school hours and established a pattern and practice of endorsing not only religion, but a particular version of Christianity, ACLU attorneys said.
But that claim, in the view of an attorney with the Christian legal group Alliance Defense Fund, is "absurd on its face."
"Essentially what (the ACLU) fails to distinguish is the critical difference between government-sponsored speech and private speech, which is constitutionally protected," said Memphis based attorney Nate Kellum, with the Alliance Defense Fund, who read the ACLU's suit but is not involved in the case.
School officials would not comment Thursday on the lawsuit, but several parents who were told of the legal action as they picked up their children from school said they stood behind the school in offering the religious activities.
"I think it's absurd that anybody would sue over that," said Donna Crowson, as she sat in line to pick up her two grandchildren at Lakeview. "They have a right to do that, I believe. The child doesn't have to participate. Parents don't have to participate."
Other parents said they were drawn to the school because of its Christian activities.
Mike and Cindy Davison, who have a kindergartner at the school, moved to Mt. Juliet from Davidson County eight years ago. The environment at Lakeview was a big factor in the decision, they said.
"As far as the curriculum and the environment and the staff, it's as close to a private school as you can get. I believe that goes along with the Christian theme they have," said Cindy Davison, who said her family reads the Bible every day.
The suit names the Wilson County School System, the system's director, Jim Duncan; Lakeview Elementary School Principal Wendell Marlowe; Assistant Principal Yvonne Smith and school teacher Janet Adamson.
Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, the suit seeks a preliminary injunction, asking that defendants be stopped from engaging in any future, similar religious activities. It also seeks attorneys' fees and compensatory or nominal damages for "emotional distress."
The suit says the parents repeatedly tried to discuss their concerns with school officials but were rebuffed and ultimately pulled their son out of school to home-school him.
The suit does not name the parents or child. It asks the court to allow the parents to pursue the action anonymously, saying "they fear community reprisals and attacks, and ostracism, and because their minor child, James Doe, remains of tender years and sensibilities

homecoming week

homecoming week is over and the seniors actually didnt win, the juniors did. the sophomores did horrible and didnt win any thing. even the freshmen won two of the dress up days.

NO MORE SCHOOL!!= ) well for 2 weeks anyways. i'm not going anywhere so i get to just stay home and relax. i really needed this break
this is ashlyn on tacky day

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

homecoming week!!!

and its also our last week of school until our two-week break!! this week we dont have to wear dress code so instead we get to wear... our pj's, the tackiest clothes we can find, dress up like a super-hero, and have just another school spirit day. homecoming week also means class competitions like the penny wars (which is just which ever class has the most pennies at the end of the week wins but other coins and bills count against you.), class floats, and a parade on friday. this friday is just going to be like one big party. we dont have to do much of any work because thursday is the end of the grading period and we have a pep-rally and a parade, and all the teachers will just be busy getting ready for intersession (summer school in the fall). this will be mj's best week ever!!= )

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Gavin and Erin-September 23rd, 2006

today's the big day for gavin richardson and erin foster. they're getting married!!!! it's so exciting to finally see the two getting married. = D

Friday, September 22, 2006

mi madre is much better

my mom is back at home after spending two days at the hospital. she came home wednesday during the day. she stayed home yesterday and is doing much better.
we also didnt have shcool yesterday so we rented movies and just took a day off.

there's a football game tonight against lebanon so we had a pep-rally and spirit day today. the seniors won, of course. next week is homecoming week so we get 4 dress down/up days!! so pretty much my week has just been uneventful. maybe next week will be better. peace.

Monday, September 18, 2006

mom's sick again.

saturday my mom had another attack and she was feeling bad all night and into sunday morning. my dad and i went to church and i guess it was like 10:20 when my sister had to take her to the ER. my dad and i met them there after sunday school. he stayed and me n sarah left. we just hung out all day then i went to youth. my dad picked me up from uth and my mom was in the car. they had decided to let her out but i really think she didnt feel well enough to be out because this morning she went back to the doctor and he's holding her there over-night. my dad is there with her now and he'll be there for a while tonight. i dont know how long she'll be staying there.
this hasnt happened in over a year. like 2 years. it used to be this bad before her surgery but it hasnt since then. 2 weeks in a row is pretty unusual. just keep our family and especially my mom in your prayers.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

long time, bad week

so these past few days have been pretty busy for me. well the entire past week really. saturday was a busy day starting with the end of a lock-in then going to a design team meeting. after the meeting we went out to lunch and thats when i found something out that i really was hoping wasnt true. one of my good friends has a problem thats kind of obvious and bad but we're working on the situation.

for those of you that have known me for a while know that my mom has this disease with her intestine that cause her A LOT of pain. well she had surgery to fix it about 4 years ago. it had been about a year and a half since she's had an "episode" as we like to call them and saturday night she had one. she had to go to the ER and spent about 6 hours there. she came home from the hospital that night and just rested all day sunday.

monday i found out that one of my other good friends' step-mom stabbed herself 3 times in the stomach on sunday around 3. she went to the ER and she's still alive. she's been in a mental home for the past few days and now she's going to her home for a week to see how things go.

yesterday my mom was at a meeting somewhere and she tripped over a curb and fell all the way to the ground and bruised her hand and knee. she and her doctors were surprised that her hand wasnt broken or even sprained.

on a better note, tomorrow night is our first home football game and from what i hear, we really arent that good this year. so i guess it really isnt such a good note. we did however beat hendersonville in volleyball tuesday and i think it's safe to say that we didnt just beat them, we killed them! well our JV killed them, anyway. i think the final score was like 10-25 the first game and 16-25the second game. varsity beat them in the first 3 games so i guess they did kill! all i remember is that it was not a close game.


Tuesday, September 05, 2006


mission trip 06
Originally uploaded by
i hear so much about how cool buddy Christ is. well you know what, Action Figure Jesus(AFJ for short), Francis Asbury, and John Wesley go on our mission trips and they actually do some drillin. they did so much more than just drill, they put on sunscreen, ate sandwiches, hung out with a jack sparrow cut-out, hitch-hiked, uh i mean.. gave a thumbs up to the people driving by, rode bikes, and had a wonderful adventure in a tree. and to make all that more fun, AFJ has wheels instead of feet and bendy arms that ocationally fall off. but then we can still give him emergency surgery if needed. i have to say that this fine trio beats buddy Christ alone. well, they are all equally cool. they're kinda like the Y-guys. they're all different but all equally cool.