Greene County Tech defies ACLU on Nativity display | Arkansas Blog

Friday, December 30, 2011

Greene County Tech defies ACLU on Nativity display

Posted By on Fri, Dec 30, 2011 at 3:01 PM

DEFIANT JESUS: Despite the ACLU and school lawyers counsel, the Nativity scene stayed put.
  • DEFIANT JESUS: Despite the ACLU and school lawyer's counsel, the Nativity scene stayed put.

We wrote earlier about the Greene County Tech elementary counselor in Paragould who put up a Nativity scene display in her classroom despite counsel against it from the school district lawyer, Donn Mixon of Jonesboro, and the administration. Forced to take it down, she went to the press. The resulting news coverage stirred a religionist fervor in town and school officials let her put her Nativity scene back up.

Enter the Arkansas affiliate of the ACLU. It wrote a letter to the School District citing the ample legal precedent that the display was an improper promotion of religion in a public school and asked that the School Board decide at its meeting Dec. 15 to take it down.

By the time the district received the letter, one day remained in the period before the holidays. Mixon still recommended that the display come down. The School Board said no. That was too late for the ACLU act this year.

John Burnett, a Little Rock lawyer cooperating with the ACLU on the case, said, "We're not dropping it just because the season is over." In other words, in 11 months it will be time again for the pig-headed proselytizing teacher to put her display back up again. The ACLU will be watching. "We're not dying to sue anyone," Burnett said. "It would be better if they came to their senses."

I couldn't reach school officials or Mixon for comment today. But let's have a bit of the ACLU's ringing words:

The nativity decoration at this primary school is unquestionably for the sectarian purpose of celebrating the distinctly religious aspects of the holiday and promoting the Christian religion, as both the circumstances of the display demonstrate and as Superintendent Noble has made quite clear in his public statements. The sectarian effect of this decoration is unmistakable as well. The U.S. Supreme Court, and the lower federal courts, have made abundantly clear that there are heightened Establishment Clause concerns in the context of public schools — particularly elementary schools — and this display clearly crosses the line. All of which is to confirm what we all know: decisions about children's religious education are best left in the hands of parents, not public school officials.

Not in the classroom of Kay Williams of Greene County, Arkansas. There, the U.S. Constitution is dirt.

Tags: , , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (20)

Showing 1-20 of 20

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-20 of 20

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • One killed in club fight on Asher Ave.

    LRPD report on early morning homicide in Asher Avenue club fight.
    • Nov 18, 2017
  • The Clinton anniversary open line

    An open line and a check on the 25th anniversary of Bill Clinton’s presidential election. Already today, Hillary Clinton has signed several thousand copies of her book and made headlines with a Mother Jones interview in which she says the legitimacy of Trump's election remains in doubt.
    • Nov 18, 2017
  • CORRECTION: Downtown gets spruced up with lighting ceremony MONDAY

    A bit of old-time Christmas magic returns to downtown Little Rock MONDAY NIGHT with the lighting of a 55-foot tree at Capitol and Main festooned with lights and custom-made blown-glass topper.
    • Nov 18, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • IHOP coming down, but .....

    I always scan the Little Rock City Board for items of interest this week and this one caught my eye: A zoning measure required by a proposal to tear down the IHOP at Markham and University.
    • Apr 30, 2016
  • City Board votes to table homeless feeding ordinance for 8 weeks, study with commission

    The Little Rock Board of Directors voted tonight to table for eight weeks an ordinance that homeless advocates say would severely limit the ability of charities to feed homeless people in city parks. Before the ordinance was punted, Vice Mayor Kathy Webb proposed a nine-member commission to study the issue and make recommendations to the board.
    • May 16, 2017
  • LR speakers blast state board for double standard

    A series of speakers, beginning with Sen. Joyce Elliott, denounced what they saw as a hidden agenda favoring charter schools at the state Department of Education and asked the state Board of Education for return of local control.
    • May 12, 2016

Most Shared

Most Recent Comments



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation