I have grown up in the liberal bastion of Montgomery County, MD. I say liberal because in my lifetime we have had one moderate republican County Executive (1969) and have only seen a few other republican and virtually no conservatives elected to any post in the county during this time.
Now the Board of Education has voted 7-1 to ban fliers in the backpacks of students. Why? Because they just lost on appeal a case where they denied a Christian group’s attempts to send out a flier three years ago about an after school bible club. This group was clearly the target of the new ban as they exempted the PTA, the school system, student groups, government agencies, day care centers and non profit sports leagues from the ban. That leaves all other types of non-profits including the Boy Scouts of America banned from distributing fliers.
The scouts who used the fliers as the main recruitng and information source have now become collateral damage in the school boards’ zest to keep religion out of the schools, even if it’s after school. What are they to do? The school board says that they can use e-mail, phone calls and advertising in the local paper. How long would that take? Where do the troops get the money to buy advertising? Give me a break!
The school board has chosen to thumb it’s nose at the court by stifling free speech. They hope that their actions end the controversy, but I think it’s only just begun.