Saturday, September 06, 2008

Pledge Excusal Letter

At the beginning of each school year, we submit a letter to the teachers of our school children excusing our children from standing for the pledges to the U.S. and Texas flags. The letter cites the appropriate section of the Texas law that permits parents to do so. I have provided a template version of the letter at my State Pledge webpage for parents to download and reuse.

During the recitation of pledges in our public school classrooms, you will see some students choosing to remain seated while others stand. What does this mean to our one nation indivisible? It means religious laws divide us.


16 comments:

TXatheist said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSGNIiU9a-c

TXatheist said...

David, my local school just told me kids are required to stand or they are considered "disruptive" which is in the wording about what a student may not do. Are you aware of students being forced to stand? What was that laywer you had again? Thanks.
md457@hotmail.com

David Wallace Croft said...

Our attorney is Dean Cook,
214-336-7440,
http://www.cookandcooklaw.com/dean-cook.html

TXatheist said...

I REALLY appreciate the offer but my son is only 4. I was talking with a Round Rock High school student(where my son will go in 10 years) and he said he is required to stand. I called RR High and spoke with one of the Principals, Deena Schafer, and she said they interpret not standing as "disruptive" and therefore kids are required to stand. I said if that happens I'll see you in court at which point she said they could make an exception if we let them know in advance and I said I don't want to be the exception but for any kid to not stand is their freedom to choose for themselves.

elizabethofcolorado said...

I am a lifelong atheist. I am very disgusted by this issue. A moment of silence can mean many things to many people. To tie up my tax dollars (I have a home and own a business) to fight thie "issue" angers me. Instead of teaching your children to respect the rights and feelings of others you are teaching the to be litigious in order to get their way. This is a prime example of the tyranny of the minority. Your kids can stand and take a moment to reflect during the moment of silence. I think our school tax dollars should be spent teaching the children instead of defending the school district against frivolous lawsuits. SHAME ON YOU!!!

TXatheist said...

liz, I question your lifelong atheist status. However, this should be a slam dunk case and the moment of silence should have never been a waste of our legislature's time by pushing this bill through in the first place. I guess then it was ok to waste your tax dollars? Tyranny? Ok, let's have one minute of bashing xianity for the first minute of school and then you can claim tyranny. It's a minute wasted and nothing more. If it was so great we'd pray 8 hours a day but prayer is useless with regards to education. To show my point just 2 years ago Texas pushed through legislation that now requires kids to say the TX pledge which now has the words under god in it. Why can't xians keep their god stuff to themselves? Because atheists are not respected, that's why. As far as shame, shame on you for being a coward.

elizabethofcolorado said...

TXatheist

I can assure that I am far from being a coward sir! I refuse to get defensive and insist that I have been a lifelong atheist. If you choose not to believe me that is your choice! Your arguments are weak and so you attack my statements and courage instead. That is an easy thing to do under anonymous circumstances such as these. Let me say this again, a moment of silence harms no one. There are no restrictions on those present. This is a frivolous lawsuit and a waste of our tax dollars!

TXatheist said...

Coward or whiner? Your argument is that this case is frivolous? Not to me and it should have been a slam dunk in David's favor but the Attorney General was in favor of the xians and defended praying. If my arguments are weak tell me what prayer has to do with education. Every test shows intercessory prayer is useless. A slam dunk case wouldn't have wasted your tax dollars but because the religious wrong gets their way this may go to the Supreme Court. In Illinois the same case went in favor of the atheists but not in Texas. Your tax dollars are spent on tons of frivolous things but the separation of church and state isn't one of them. The right for women to vote was a waste of tax payer dollars right? Anonymous? Well, if you were in Texas or me in Colorado again(lived there decades ago) it wouldn't be anonymous so this is as good as it gets. Were you complaining about tax dollars when legislators were pushing this bill through? If your kid was required to pray would that be ok? Read from the KJ bible? Where do you draw the line? Mine is with the Lemon Test that anything favoring religion is unconstitutional. I'm wondering how your Colorado taxes are affected by TX/LA/MS judges.

elizabethofcolorado said...

TXatheist

Your arguments are specious. If they were requiring a mandatory minute of prayer I would agree with you. They are asking for a minute of silence which is an entirely different matter. The choice of what one does during that one minute is entirely up to oneself. I do not have children, but if I did I would instruct them to use the one minute to reflect on whatever they desire, just as the school has instructed them. If you look at my post name it is Elizabeth OF Colorado. I too no longer live there and now reside outside Dallas Texas. So, as a Citizen weary of wasteful spending and over taxation I am dismayed that Mr. Croft would bring about such a frivolous lawsuit. Two last points: I do not like to be called Liz, my name is Elizabeth. I have reviewed by last post and do not believe the descriptor whining would apply.

TXatheist said...

Liz, Your bellyaching and apathy about the wasted minute of education is why we have gotten to this point as far as xians getting their way in gov't matters. You've failed to counter with what is a reasonable explanation of why the 1 minute is other than a minute wasted nor have you countered to how it's productive. Can you tell me how a minute of wasted time is any less useless than a minute of prayer? Had you learned about this you'd see the kids can't do what they want. They are required to stand and remain silent. That's a waste of time for if it wasn't then why don't they do it all day if it's so productive? Wasteful taxation? I"m so tired of Texans whining about taxes. You drive on roads, have police, fire, military, VA benefits for our heroes and even a judicial branch of gov't but no matter how tight they budgeted someone like you would call it wasteful. You can't have that for free and you don't need the money. I have reviewed your posts and your a whiner. Pay your taxes, appreciate your freedom to vote that someone like David gave you and complain about taxes going to pay for lawsuits that don't aid religion in some form. md457@hotmail.com

elizabethofcolorado said...

TXatheist

Where do I begin? Again, I will request that you address me as Elizabeth. If you decline after being requested to do so, it speaks more of you than it does of me. I fervently hope that your mother has raised you better than that.

I am not sure why you are accusing me of bellyaching, I am just expressing an opinion. It just happens to be different from yours.

I found myself laughing at your assertion that I am apathetic. The fact that I am curious about my world and attempting to share my opinions and trying to establish a dialog argues against my being apathetic.

As for your statement that the kids cannot do what they want during this period; I beg to differ parents can request an exemption.

You imply that I am complaining about my taxes going to Roads, Police, Firemen and the Military. I am not quite sure why you believe this to be so. I happily give my tax dollars when I can be assured they apply to these enterprises as they benefit ALL OF US.

This lawsuit is a temper tantrum by a minority of people who want their rights honored by those of the majority and they do not care how much it costs the rest of us.

You state that you have reviewed my posts and still call me a whiner. I suppose if you define a whiner as someone who disagrees with you then I will proudly bear that appellation.

Toward the end of your post you state that David gave me the right to vote, how so?

Lastly, a little grammar lesson:

Your is a possessive as in:
Is that your cell?

You're is a contraction of the words 'you are' as in:
I heard you're going to be denied parole again.

Your second to the last statement should have read:
'I have reviewed your posts and you're a whiner'.

Style hint: your posts will be better received if you're using the proper grammar.
Regards,
Elizabeth

TXatheist said...

I wish I could thank you but I can't. You came off as condescending so I find it unnecessary to listen to you, as you haven't shown me the level of respect I prefer. When you said shame on David I put myself in David's shoes and interpreted your (correct) statement as antagonistic and appealing to emotion to make him feel bad. That's not an opinion. That is a plea to emotion that you are inferring on David.
I don't feel bad for telling Christians they don't get one minute to pray or have that minute to pray. The truth is intercessory prayer is useless. Why must we avoid saying that? Isn't the educational system supposed to teach what we have learned through experiment? If you choose to laugh at my assertion then you will. At least you heard it, that's what I'd hoped for. We can go to extremes about discussing how posting on a blog and creating a dialogue (the more formal spelling) makes you less apathetic but I was inferring David was not the apathetic one compared to you.
Did you call your local school district? Please allow me to explain the conversation I had with the Principal. Students are required to stand silently. Please counter my experiment with a call to your local schools to see if a child can sit quietly or read a book quietly. I hope to be corrected. I guess you don't want tax dollars to go to a judicial branch of the government. You see I don't really need fireman or police. I could use EMS but I have insurance and a person that could fill out an accident report is all I would need as far as DPS is concerned. I'm sure many people could see paying fewer taxes on those services would be in agreement with me. Actually I do care how much this costs. Is saying David is throwing a temper tantrum your opinion or a good way to slander him with words inferring a juvenile status? I also wish David didn't have to get a lawyer. I wish David could have told his elected representative and a bill would have gone through just fine ending this. So a short type up is all it could have taken. As far as David giving you the right to vote I was referring to his lack of apathy. It was an inference that someone used our legal system to allow women the right to vote. Was it wrong to do that or wrong in the first place? I can't thank you for the grammar lesson because my point isn't to be graded but usually the person I'm having a dialogue with overlooks such small things. Volumes is the word you used. You can forgive my grammar errors.

elizabethofcolorado said...

TXatheist

It appears you can dish it out, but cannot take it!

TXatheist said...

I've read over my post and yours and it's obvious I can take it. You have warranted my respect so your opinion of me means nothing.

TXatheist said...

have not warranted

elizabethofcolorado said...

Okay!!?!!