Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to ensure:
It is estimated this proposal will result in little or no costs or savings for state and local governmental entities.
- That the right of Missouri citizens to express their religious beliefs shall not be infringed;
- That school children have the right to pray and acknowledge God voluntarily in their schools; and
- That all public schools shall display the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution.
But let's not considering something as important as changes to our state constitution by reading the cliff notes only. Everyone should read the full joint resolution here. Then, perform the same deep analysis that your high school English teacher would ask of you and think about not only the intent of the author but also the real life consequences.
Since I provided the link, I will not reprint the entire resolution here, but I will point out the specifics of the section addressing Missouri public schools. It reads,
19 that students may express their beliefs about religion inI have news for you. You already have these rights. The Missouri constitution already states.,
20 written and oral assignments free from discrimination based on the religious content of
21 their work; that no student shall be compelled to perform or participate in academic
22 assignments or educational presentations that violate his or her religious beliefs; that the
23 state shall ensure public school students their right to free exercise of religious expression
24 without interference, as long as such prayer or other expression is private and voluntary,
25 whether individually or corporately, and in a manner that is not disruptive and as long as
26 such prayers or expressions abide within the same parameters placed upon any other free
27 speech under similar circumstances; and, to emphasize the right to free exercise of religious
28 expression, that all free public schools receiving state appropriations shall display, in a
29 conspicuous and legible manner, the text of the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the
30 United States;
Section 8. That no law shall be passed impairing the freedom of speech, no matter by what means communicated: that every person shall be free to say, write or publish, or otherwise communicate whatever he will on any subject, being responsible for all abuses of that liberty; and that in all suits and prosecutions for libel or slander the truth thereof may be given in evidence; and in suits and prosecutions for libel the jury, under the direction of the court, shall determine the law and the facts.Note that it doesn't say you may say or write anything without concern for consequences. You shall be responsible for all abuses of that liberty. You may also experience backlash. Forgive me for stooping to cliche, but when it is true I can't help but note, "That which does not kill us makes us stronger."
As a parent, which is more important; that your child respectfully declines to read an objectionable book in school in order to write a report on it, and instead offers to read a different one and writes a good persuasive essay or; that your child reads the assigned book, fakes his way through the essay and gets a good grade? Will all teachers happily agree to this? No. Some are just too lazy to work with something outside their comfort zone. Some are hopelessly biased. But which approach will make you prouder of your child, and which approach will make your child a stronger person?
In schools that we have written about, where students were forbidden by faculty from reading their bible at lunch, or threatened with penalties for not participating in school productions touting the benefits of alternative lifestyles, parents have a choice to make. They can sit back quietly fuming and wait for a legislator to make it all go away, or they can organize other parents from the school to confront the administration and get them to change.
No one said raising a child would be easy. We are forced into an education system we may not like or agree with. That system will use the divide an conquer method to make us go away if we try to object. But until the general public begins to stand up for their beliefs instead of relegating these decisions to the government and the courts, we will not see our local schools reflecting our values. The reason they often have ridiculous politically correct policies is because some parents have become the squeaky wheel and the schools just want the squeak to stop. What the liberals have going for them is a tenacity that is often lacking in conservatives.
If you think your school has quirky policies now, wait until you see the gems they come up with to try to comply with this amendment. And once this is law, wait for some enterprising family or group (think ACLU) to try to take advantage and file suit against your district. If you thought schools were short on cash now, imagine how it will be when they have to defend themselves from civil rights suits that result from this amendment.
Be strong parents. Find like minded citizens. Band together and demand change. Think how much better your school will be when you do and the lazy or hopelessly biased teachers are let go because too many of you said you would not allow your child to be in her classroom. Think how much happier your administration will be when they know they can rely on your numbers to back them up against the squeakers. Don't vote for something just because the cliff notes "sound good."
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