Church Night, Truthseekers! Gather ’round the sacred campfire for a righteous sermon from Rev. Mike! A brilliant fifth grader in Tampa, FL won first place in a literature contest for his essay about how world religions should coexist peacefully. How nice, right? School administrators felt otherwise, revoking his ribbon because his piece was “inappropriate.” The school Vice Principle actually told the boy that the “fairest” thing would be to take back the ribbon he won, if he refused to take out all the religious references. WFLA has more:
Zachary Golob-Drake, a 5th-grader at the Patel Partnership School in Tampa, won first place in his class for his speech about the history of people using religion to justify murder.
He has a brief paragraph on the Crusades, Genghis Khan and the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. He ends the speech by encouraging the “Golden Rule”, saying that would “make the world a better place.”
But, he says, his blue ribbon was stripped from him by the end of the school day on Wednesday.
Golob-Drake was supposed to deliver the speech Thursday morning to the entire 4th and 5th grades. Two winners – one from each grade – were to be chosen to represent the school at the the regional 4-H Tropicana Public Speech contest. But Golob-Drake says the assistant principal pulled him aside before school was dismissed and told him his speech was inappropriate.
“She started talking to me about how she thought my speech wasn’t appropriate for 4th and 5th graders and she thought that probably I would have to rewrite my speech, take the religion out or not compete.”
He said he told her he needed to think about it at home.
“She said to me probably the fairest thing to do is to take your ribbon,” he said, noting that he then got emotional.
By the time his older brother picked him from school, he was crying. His brother ended up going back to school and talking to the assistant principal. Their mother, Rhonda Golob-Drake, said the assistant principal ended up giving back the ribbon. She then spent four hours on the phone with school officials and school district officials and called representatives from the Tropicana contest.
By the end of the night, the school decided to postpone the contest until Monday. In the meantime, parents of 4th and 5th graders will receive permission slips. The form will list all of the speech titles and let parents decide whether or not they want their children to hear Golob-Drake’s speech or any of the other speeches.
Ah yes, the bizarro world of religion and schools. A fifth grader’s speech on religions coexisting peacefully is to religious. Or too truthful. Christians would love to see a return of prayer in schools (and the 10 Commandments posted in the classroom), but tolerate no honest discussion of atrocities committed in the name of religion around the world.
Speaking of freedom and rights, check out www.burningbooksbuffalo.com to find out how the US postal service is snooping into the mail of private citizens.
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