Pulaski superintendent: It's just 'truth,' not religion | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Pulaski superintendent: It's just 'truth,' not religion

Posted By on Wed, May 4, 2011 at 6:46 AM

A Pulaski County School District patron sees parallels between recent communication by Superintendent Charles Hopson and the prayer warriors over in Van Buren.

The occasion was the superintendent's newsletter, in which he reprinted a message from Board president Bill Vasquez about positive developments in the school district. Vasquez said, in passing, "I truly believe God is working in every area of PCSSD and in the truest sense of the word, we as educators are starting to reach out and be all things to all people." He also drew a parallel between the district's mission and the Apostle Philip.

I'm not one to worry about scrubbing every trace of religion from public utterances by public officials. But I think, when a superintendent prefaces remarks by Vasquez with an explainer like this, it indicates a recognition that the ground is a little shaky. Wrote Hopson:

Mr. Vasquez's e-mail to me does not represent any official district statement or position, nor is it an attempt by our district to promote any form of religion. It is simply his truth to me that I am sharing with the PCSSD Learning Community.

So if a teacher witnesses on the power of prayer and reads a Bible verse or two before standardized testing, might that not also be "simply his truth" shared with a learning community, as opposed to a religious exercise?

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