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COLORADO SPRINGS GAZETTE: D-11 TARGETS CATHOLICS, NO ONE ELSE

Wayne Laugesen

For the editorial board

THE GAZETTE

 

Students of District 11, listen up. You absolutely must know the Constitution. You should start with the First Amendment. The Constitution protects you from abuse by government authorities. It upholds fundamental rights each of us is born with, forbidding government from messing with them. It keeps government from forcing you to be religious or non religious.

Right now, your most fundamental rights are under attack by the government officials who run your school district. They are intent upon violating your First Amendment rights.

For students who haven’t studied it yet, the First Amendment says this: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

It says you have a right to express yourself and to worship as you see fit in public and in private without interference from Congress. No, your principal, school board members and superintendent are not Congress. But the 14th Amendment, ratified in 1868, extends the First Amendment and other constitutional constraints on Congress to all other governments in the United States. So, when you read the First Amendment, replace the word “Congress” with “public schools.” Doing this, you’ll understand that public schools shall make no laws abridging your right to express faith in Jesus and Mary or other controversial beliefs.

Despite the clear meaning of the First Amendment, officials in your district have decided you do not have a right to express yourselves as Catholics by wearing the rosary.

Call or e-mail Mark Silverstein of the ACLU to thank him for defending the rosary

For the full story: http://www.gazette.com/opinion/government-105995-rights-students.html#ixzz11nVawRmw

 



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