Another School Promotes Good News Club and Hides from Criticism

Yesterday, Connerton Elementary School in Land O’ Lakes, FL posted a tweet inviting people to join them at their flagpole on Thursday morning for a prayer with a guest from the Good News Club. There are a few problems with this:

  1. Public schools should remain hands-off when it comes to prayer. Any prayer events should be student-led and not involve school administrators or faculty.
  2. Schools should not be promoting one religion over another. By inviting a Good news Club member to participate, and then promoting the event, the school is showing favor to the brand of fundamentalist Christianity that the Good News Club teaches.
  3. This entire event becomes an advertisement for the Good News Club, an after-school program that is supposed to be unaffiliated with the school, per their permission slips and the Supreme Court.

 

As someone who is concerned about the separation of church and state, especially when it comes to schools and the constant religious overreach we see there, I responded to Connerton’s tweet and posted it on Facebook. I also reported the violation to the Freedom From Religion Foundation who I’ve worked with in the past on similar issues concerning the Good News Club. Here’s the tweet and my response:

A couple others joined in (thank you) and advised the school that what they’re doing may be illegal. This morning, I noticed that, of course, I was blocked by the school on Twitter. After logging in through a different Twitter account, I saw that the school deleted the tweet (which deleted all the replies along with it) and reposted the original tweet. If that’s not a blatant cover-up and a prime example of running from criticism, I don’t know what is.

Standard operating procedure for schools on social media when caught promoting religion: Delete message, block any dissenters, repost original message (or pretend it never happened).

Here’s the reposted tweet. Feel free to chime in with your thoughts on their blatant church/state violation and cover-up. I’ll be keeping an eye out for them to delete this one too and will update as needed.

I’ll never understand how school administrators can’t get this separation thing straight. So let’s give them some help.

UPDATE: Oct 9, 6:20pm EST — The tweet has been deleted and has not yet been reposted. I’ll be monitoring the account and will update if it goes back up. No response yet from FFRF, but it usually takes them a couple days.

 


SecularVoices readers: I hope you enjoyed this piece and continue to enjoy the SecularVoices column! To support our work (and keep the coffee flowing), please consider springing for a cup o’ joe through the button below. And if you do, make sure you put your Twitter ID in the comments so we can follow you and send you a “thank you.”

Buy Me A Coffee

(I’ve discontinued the Patreon page for now. I think the coffee link is more appropriate and doesn’t force readers to commit to a recurring donation.)

Kevin Davis

Kevin Davis is the head writer and editor for SecularVoices, co-founder of Young Skeptics, and author of Understanding an Atheist. He is known for local and national secular activism and has spoken at conferences and events such as Reason Rally 2016 and the Ark Encounter Protest and Rally.

View all posts by Kevin Davis →

5 thoughts on “Another School Promotes Good News Club and Hides from Criticism

  1. Dafuq? Aint it illegal for them to delete tweets and comments? I thought the courts ruled that this is the same destroying ANY government records which is illegal.

    1. FWIW
      http://myfloridalegal.com/webfiles.nsf/WF/MNOS-AXJGEU/$file/2018+Government+in+the+Sunshine+Manual.pdf

      f. Twitter
      The determination as to whether a list or record of accounts which have been blocked
      from posting to or accessing an elected official’s personal Twitter feed is a public record involves
      mixed questions of law and fact which cannot be resolved by the Attorney General’s Office. Inf.
      Op. to Shalley, June 1, 2016. However, “if the tweets the public official is sending are public
      records [because they were sent in connection with the transaction of official business] then a
      list of blocked accounts, prepared in connection with those public records ‘tweets,’ could well be
      determined by a court to be a public record.” Id.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *