I’ve said before that I’ve written more articles about the Rankin County School District in Mississippi than anywhere other school district in the country — never for good reasons. There were mandatory assemblies with Christian speakers. There was a pastor telling children to pray at an awards ceremony. There was the Christian hymn performed during a marching band’s halftime show.
This is a District where church/state separation isn’t even considered a suggestion, much less thought of as a law. And they’ve been fined multiple times because of that. In fact, for every violation from here on out, they owe the plaintiff $10,000.
So when you’re electing a new school board member, you want someone with a strong understanding of the situation.
You want someone who won’t make the same mistakes as the District leaders of the past.
You want someone who respects the law.
What you don’t want is the guy you just got: David Dyess:
Dyess said his wife [a teacher in the District] felt like a “traitor” after she began to feel she could not mention God during the workday because of the order. Though Dyess said he doesn’t want preaching in the classroom, he believes either the federal court or the district has gone too far in restricting religious expression.
“There’s no such thing as separation of church and state,” Dyess said. “There’s a difference between religion and a personal relationship with Jesus. We have banned personal relationships with Jesus.”
Bull. Shit. The only thing that’s banned is proselytizing from District employees. That’s not a personal relationship; that’s a forced relationship.
Dyess says he “doesn’t want preaching in the classroom,” but it’s obvious that he thinks the legal decisions against the District so far have been too harsh. His Facebook page is just full of lies about what church/state separation groups have done in his District. For example, he once called secular Humanism “the tool satan uses to stop the mentioning of God in the Rankin County Schools.”
Which is wrong because (1) we don’t believe in Satan either and (2) we support everyone’s right to pray, read their Bibles, believe in God, and say God. The only thing the District can’t do is force Christianity upon the students… which is exactly what they’ve been doing, many times over.
If the other board members share Dyess’ bad judgment, it could mean more money coming out of taxpayers’ pockets to pay legal fines.
Rankin County voters had a chance to put the kids first in November. Once again, they failed.
(Thanks to Brian for the link)