In August of 2019, a federal court blocked a South Carolina school district from including Christian prayers at graduation ceremonies. It was the culmination of a six-year legal battle that could have been resolved much more quickly if the school officials weren’t so eager to push God onto those audiences.
Earlier this year, it became time for the Greenville County School District to pay up. And the bill came out to more than $450,000. It was a lot of money wasted because administrators thought schools were churches.
The gist of the story went like this: Administrators in the district were promoting religion at graduation ceremonies (including by allowing students to deliver the prayers), holding those events in chapels, and urging attendees to participate in the prayers. A judge said they couldn’t do that. The district owed the American Humanist Association a lot of cash.
At the time, the district said it would appeal the $456,242.01 bill.
Several months later, we can finally see how that negotiation went:
According to The Post and Courier, the district has voted 8-3 to pay $187,000 to the AHA through their insurance company. At least that’s what will happen if the court approves the revised settlement.
It’s still a lot of cash the district owes because too many board members forget they weren’t at church.
Just listen to the delusions of two of the board members who voted against this settlement:
On Tuesday night, Lynda Leventis-Wells, the school board’s chairwoman, voted against the deal. She said she didn’t want to give the humanist group any money.
“[District attorney Doug] Webb has done a remarkable job getting us to the point where we are at this point,” Leventis-Wells said. “And he is one of my constituents. It is a difficult situation, but I just believe I don’t want to fold.”
Long-time trustee Chuck Saylors said he has remained “doggedly opposed” to agreeing with a settlement because of an experience he had shortly after the American Humanists first sued. Forty people in his Sunday School class, he said, prayed for him.
“I don’t know if you’ve ever been in church and had 40 people pray on you, but it’s powerful,” Saylors said. “I’ve promised them, kids, parents and taxpayers, that I would not vote for anything that came across that we were caving in.”
So Leventis-Wells doesn’t want to “fold” because she wants to push Jesus on students and Saylors opposes the settlement because a bunch of ignorant people told him to ignore the law. There is absolutely no reason these people should be taken seriously on the school board when they’re incapable of putting their students’ needs in front of their personal religious beliefs.
If they had their way, the school district would spend whatever budget it has fighting in court for the ability to force Christianity onto students. Why bother with new textbooks or computers when Jesus will magically fix everything?
What utterly incompetent buffoons in a position of public power. Thank goodness they were outnumbered.
By the way, here’s one more story about Saylors:
He read from the Humanist Association’s website that the organization works to do “good without God.”
That’s meant to be a bad thing. Saylors thinks that amounts to heresy. Because, again, he’s very very bad at the job he chose to do.
(Image via Shutterstock. This has been edited to reflect that the school board’s payment, if approved, would be paid for through their insurance company, not from the district’s own budget. Apologies for the error.)