Monday, July 23, 2012

The Story That KNS Won't Be Covering

A few years ago, the Elmbrook School District got itself in a bit of a jam by holding their high school graduation ceremonies at Elmbrook Church. All you heard for days and weeks from KNS (Koch News Syndicate) was how it was such a brilliant thing to do because it was cheap and they had air-conditioning in the church and it was a big enough venue, etc, etc, etc.

What they didn't want their listeners and readers to recognize is that it was also illegal:
The Elmbrook School District violated the Constitutional guarantee of separation of church and state by holding past graduation ceremonies at Elmbrook Church, a federal appeals court ruled today.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the group that filed the lawsuit in 2009 on behalf of nine anonymous plaintiffs, hailed the decision as an important victory for personal liberty in this country.

"This decision upholds the separation of church and state, it upholds the Constitution," said attorney Alex Luchenitser, associate legal director for AU. "It ensures the students in Wisconsin will not be forced to enter an intensely religious environment as the price of attending their own high school graduation, a seminal event in their lives."

Elmbrook School District officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

The court's opinion states that its decision was determined by Elmbrook's particular situation, pointing to the facts that minors were involved, the event was a significant one in their lives and that "conditions of extensive
proselytization" were present - most notably a large cross hung in front of the audience and religious reading materials were present as well.
Dare I point out that for all the money they spent on legal bills, the school could have rented a really nice convention center, banquet hall or other facility and save money to boot. But that would make sense, which is probably why they didn't think of that.


  1. Conservatism is a nice idea and all, but it doesn't really work that well in the real world.

    1. I think "conservatism" WAS an important part of government. The problem is it died out with IKE.

      The current group of right wing politicians are VASTLY mislabeled. There is nothing conservative about them!

  2. My brother graduated from Brookfield Central HS years ago, & they had the ceremony in the gym. What's wrong with that?

  3. So just curious did the students who were not religious burst into flames upon entering a church? If you are that sensitive about religion that holding a graduation in a church is grounds for a lawsuit you will truly have a hard time in life. By the way there is no constitutional separation of church and state: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof".

    1. With that kind of logic, there should be no question of the legality of the simple medical procedure of abortion.

  4. You're going to need stronger arguments than that, Anony. The law isn't based on bumper sticker wisdom.