Box Out tells the story of Liam Bergstrom, a sophomore basketball player at Horizon High School. Liam is a Roman Catholic and doesn’t feel comfortable when his coach leads the team in prayers that employ Protestant language and rituals. Although he doesn’t want to rock the boat and jeopardize his position on the team, Liam knows he has to do something.
The story is eerily familiar to the (real) story of Nicole Smalkowski.
Liam actually contacts Americans United for Separation of Church and State to get advice on how to handle the situation.
Here’s one scene in which the school’s principal speaks to Liam:
“Were you the one who talked with this…” Craney peers at the letter. “Americans United for Separation of Church and State outfit?”
Liam considers denying it. How would Craney know? But he can’t lie if he’s angry with Coach for lying.
“Yes, sir,” he says softly. He squeezes his hands so Craney won’t see them shaking.
“The last thing we need is outsiders telling us how to run our school.” Craney pounds the desk. “This group is from Washington, D.C. What do they know about Horizon? Do they understand they way we do things here?”
While writing the book, he called Americans United and talked with members of our Legal Department, gathering information about how we address issues like this and often resolve them without going to court. The AU attorney named Megan that Liam speaks with in the book is a fictional character but is a very accurate representation of the lawyers on our staff.
If you need some light reading, there you go.
Next up, I await the children’s version of The God Delusion.