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First Amendment Advocate, Vol. 4, No. 1, August 2003

The Newsletter of the Oklahoma Chapter of Americans United

Worries about Bethany Public Schools

by Jim Shields

I worry about the Bethany Public Schools.


I worry about the influence of one dominating church on Bethanyís Public Schools.

I worry about most of the school board members being from that one church.

I worry about so much of the administration being from that one church.

 

I worry about so many of the teachers being from that one church.

I worry about the school district being so small ó only one square mile.


I worry about the wisdom of decreasing the size of the school campus by one whole block when the number of students keeps increasing.

 

I worry about the wisdom of selling an auditorium, gymnasium, and school facility covering an entire city block to the dominating local church.


I worry about the school systemís student count growing so much while the student population of the district remains constant.


I worry about the school having more out-of-district transfer students than in-district students.

 

I worry about increasing traffic congestion as out-of-district transfer students come and go to Bethany Public Schools.


I worry about the effect of the loss of state and federal revenues on the Putnam City School District as more and more of their students transfer outside-the-district to schools in Bethany.

 

I worry about whether the Bethany school board intended to expand their schools beyond what was needed for the districtís stable student population.

 

I worry about the Bethany Public School Districtís apparent lack of regard for the integrity of surrounding school districts.


I worry about whether the Oklahoma state legislature ever intended for school districts to increase their student populations and budgets at the expense of neighboring school districts.


I worry about what would happen to Oklahomaís Public School Systems if all school districts, or even 30 or 40 of them, engaged in similar predatory expansions.

I worry most of all about the appearance that Bethany Public Schools are dominated by one church.

 

I worry about the appearance of church dominance of the Bethany Public School system because 90% of their funding comes from state (81%) and federal sources (9%).

 

I worry about whether laid-off workers and teachers from other schools districts think they need to join a certain church to have a chance of landing a job in the Bethany Public Schools.


I worry about the children from other churches and faiths who have a constitutional right to equal treatment and should be able to expect publicly funded institutions like schools to be strictly neutral in matters of religion.

 

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"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereofĒ

Copyright © 2003 Americans United -- Oklahoma Chapter  P.O. Box 892747 Oklahoma City, OK 73189.   Phone and Fax:  405-632-0037   Send mail to jhuff@auok.org with questions about the Oklahoma Chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State

 

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