Superintendent: I Didn’t Mean to Offend When I Said Atheists Are Ruining America September 24, 2018

Superintendent: I Didn’t Mean to Offend When I Said Atheists Are Ruining America

Ron Wilson is the superintendent of the Ionia Public Schools in Michigan, and he also publishes a column in the Ionia Sentinel-Standard. His byline? “Ron Wilson / Ionia Public Schools”

You would think the head of a school district would be careful about what he writes for a wider audience. Nope. Not this guy.

Last month, Wilson wrote about a conversation he had with his father in which they discussed how those “who rebel against God” are hurting the country. While much of it could be described as Wilson summarizing his father’s position, this part was all him:

The growth of atheistic and secular humanist influence in our society appears to be eroding the fabric of our nation and challenges the core values reflected in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

Before our conversation ended, Dad then asked, “Where do you stand? Are you one of those who proudly proclaims one nation under God?” He did not need to ask, because he already knew the answer.

I love it when dad asks the questions he “did not need to ask.”

Wilson claimed in that piece (by echoing his father) that public schools preach secular humanism (they don’t), that Planned Parenthood “engage[s] in the collection and sale of infant body parts” (that’s a lie), and not allowing the government to distribute the Bible to students goes against the First Amendment (are you kidding me).

No wonder Mitch Kahle of the Michigan Association of Civil Rights Activists wrote a letter to the same paper calling out Wilson for “using his professional position to publicly condemn and slander so many in the community.”

Wilson demonstrated an astounding lack of knowledge or understanding of the Constitution, when he wrongly placed abortion rights under the First Amendment. He propagates “fake news” with the false and misleading claim that “Planned Parenthood … has engaged in the collection and sale of infant body parts.”

In his official capacity, Wilson has deliberately “called out” students, teachers, parents and community members on matters of religious faith.

Wilson violated the separation of state and church and potentially federal and state laws enacted to protect students, teachers, parents and taxpayers from religious discrimination by public school officials.

The Michigan Association of Civil Rights Activists has received complaints from students and parents in the Ionia Public School District who are offended by Wilson’s exclusionary and spiteful religious views.

Whether MACRA pursues any legal action has yet to be seen, but yesterday, in his latest column, Wilson said he never meant to offend anyone… even though he totally offended everyone.

Not every member of our community shares the same moral philosophies or religious beliefs. That does not mean anyone’s views should be stifled, ignored or disrespected.

To anyone offended by the views expressed in my column, that was certainly not my intention. I hope we can agree to move forward and continue to do the important work of educating the next generation.

Note the non-apology apology. He’s not sorry for what he said. He’s “sorry” if you didn’t like it. And there’s no way to “move forward” when the head of a school system has such little respect for people who don’t share his irrational beliefs.

At least the disclaimer at the bottom of the piece has been reworded. It now includes the line, “The views expressed in this column do not necessarily represent the views of Ionia school elected officials, employees or students.”

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