for it then respects the religious nature of our people and accommodates the public service to their ... the ACLU and 35 other religious and human rights organizations, ...
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Slide 1:U. S. Supreme Court
The Zorach v. Clauson decision, which upholds the religious freedom to have released time, states: “…but the First Amendment does not provide that in every and all respects there shall be separation of Church and State. The people of the United States are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being,
Slide 2:U. S. Supreme Court
and therefore, when the state encourages religious instruction or cooperates with religious authorities by adjusting the schedule of public events to sectarian needs, it follows the best of our traditions,
Slide 3:U. S. Supreme Court
for it then respects the religious nature of our people and accommodates the public service to their spiritual needs;
Slide 4:U. S. Supreme Court
and to hold that by reason of the First Amendment, a state may not so do would be to prefer those who believe in no religion over those who do believe.” Kingsport (TN) Times-News Associated Press Photo
Slide 5:ACLU, Religious, And Human Rights Organizations
In its officially published documents, the ACLU and 35 other religious and human rights organizations, including the Christian Legal Society, the National Association of Evangelicals and People for the American Way, have formally agreed that Released Time is a viable means of religious instruction during the school day.
Slide 6:Who oversees curriculum?
Control of Curriculum and Delivery 11 Churches in Lynn Garden, across denominational lines, oversee curriculum content and instruction for pilot program. Parents review materials and have personal communication with RTCE teachers as well as pastors.
Slide 7:What about differences in doctrine?
11 churches in Lynn Garden, of various denominations including United Methodist, Evangelical Presbyterian, Baptist, Lutheran, Christian, Apostolic, and several independents have agreed on curriculum which has been used successfully in 40 different denominations.
Slide 8:How Released Time Fits The Mission Of Public Education
Mission Statement of the State Board of Education “To ensure that Tennessee schools are among the best in the nation…to accomplish this mission, the Board has identified the following key result areas……… early childhood education; primary and middle grades; high school; technology; accountability; school leadership and school-based decision making;…”
Released Time provides for direct accountability to parents Released Time keeps the school board accountable to parent choice in the education of their children Released Time provides for school leadership and school-based decision making
Slide 10:How Released Time Fits The Mission of Public Education
Current values-driven curriculum which attempt to address the teen risk behaviors common among our youth during the school day: Character education from a secular point of view D.A.R.E - Drug education from a secular point of view
Slide 11:How Released Time Fits The Mission of Public Education
Sex education from a secular point of view Guidance classes and counseling from a secular point of view Since the State authorizes such value-driven curriculum, should not Christian and religious students receive such training according to the teaching of their faith? Released Time can best address social and moral issues.
Slide 12:Why Do Schools Need Released Time?
Called good, “in the best of our traditions”- and endorsed by the Supreme Court, provides First Amendment religious liberty Provides direct representation for taxpaying parents in the education of their children Provides voluntary choice
Slide 13:Why Do Schools Need Released Time?
State acknowledges parental authority over children and that the state is the servant of people. Provides equal opportunity for all students to attend Prevents the state from favoring those with no religious beliefs over those with religious beliefs Improved student grades, attitudes, and behavior - positive for school
Slide 14:Why Do Schools Need Released Time?
The Warning From Pearl, Mississippi In the wake of a school year riddled with violence, public officials are weighing in on behalf of religious freedom in public schools. In Mississippi, a superintendent is speaking with authority on the need for religious freedom on school campuses:
Slide 15:Why Do Schools Need Released Time?
Pearl District Superintendent, Bill Dodson, observed, “When you take religion out of the schools, other things take its place. It gives a sign that religion is not important.” In October 1997, Pearl High School student Luke Woodham killed two classmates and wounded seven others in a shooting rampage at his school.
Slide 16:Why Do Schools Need Released Time?
During its last session in Nashville, the State Legislature made $10 million in grants available to school districts to spend on safety. As students now head back to school, they are being greeted by police in the halls, drug-sniffing dogs, metal detectors, and classes on nonviolence in an effort to ensure schools are safe. -USA Today, 8/17/98
Slide 17:Why Do Schools Need Released Time?
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports 60.5% of Tennessee teens have had sexual intercourse, and 40.4% have used drugs. Biblical training during the school day offers children the moral foundations they need to combat pressures of drugs, cheating, lying, stealing, premarital sex, violence, and suicide.
Slide 18:Recommendations for Sullivan County
Reinstate the Lynn View Released Time program. Develop a county-wide policy which will address logistical concerns and guidelines for any future proposals, whether at Lynn View or elsewhere.
Slide 19:National recommendations:
Establish federal law codifying U. S. Supreme Court’s Zorach vs. Clausen released time decision to clarify standard questions. Include policy statements in bill which clarify legal and policy issues which often provide confusion to legislators and school boards. Use Tennessee’s proposed 1999 HB 1209, SB 973 as guidelines for national legislation.
Slide 20:For additional information on released time religious character education or the Sullivan County Released Time Christian character education program, see our web site