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Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

CNSNews brings us a story where the International Planned Parenthood Federation has published a guide that encourages HIV-infected youth to have sex, not tell their sexual partners they are infected, and denounces laws requiring persons with sexually transmitted diseases to tell their sexual partners or face criminal charges.

Planned Parenthood Guide Tells HIV-Infected Youth to Enjoy Sex, Denounces Laws on Disclosure of HIV/AIDS to Sexual Partners

Friday, April 09, 2010
By Penny Starr, Senior Staff Writer

(CNSNews.com) – In a guide for young people published by the International Planned Parenthood Federation, the organization says it opposes laws that make it a crime for people not to tell sexual partners they have HIV. The IPPF’s “Healthy, Happy and Hot” guide also tells young people who have the virus that they have a right to “fun, happy and sexually fulfilling lives.”

HIV is the virus that causes AIDS.

“Some countries have laws that say people living with HIV must tell their sexual partner(s) about their status before having sex, even if they use condoms or only engage in sexual activity with a low risk of giving HIV to someone else,” the guide states. “These laws violate the rights of people living with HIV by forcing them to disclose or face the possibility of criminal charges.”

Under the heading “Sexual Pleasure and Well-Being,” the guide declares that it is a human right and not a criminal issue as to whether a person decides if or when to disclose their HIV status, even if they engage in sexual activities.

“You know best when it is safe for you to disclose your status,” the guide states. “There are many reasons that people do not share their HIV status. They may not want people to know they are living with HIV because of the stigma and discrimination within their community.”

The guide continues: “They may worry that people will find out something else they have kept secret, like that they are using injecting drugs or, having sex outside of marriage or having sex with people of the same gender. People in long-term relationships who find out they are living with HIV sometime fear that their partner will react violently or end the relationship.”

“Young people living with HIV have the right to sexual pleasure,” the guide states under the heading “Sexual Pleasure; Have Fun Explore and Be Yourself.”

“Sex can feel great and can be really fun!” the guide says. “Many people think sex is just about vaginal and anal intercourse …. But, there are lots of different ways to have sex and lots of different types of sex.”

“Sex can include kissing, touching, licking, tickling, sucking and cuddling,” the guide states. “Some people like aggressive sex, while others like to have soft and slow sex with their partners (sic).”

“It’s a vile and vulgar brochure,” Austin Ruse, president of the United Nations watchdog group Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, told CNSNews.com.

Ruse’s group has been reporting on the “Healthy, Happy and Hot” guide in recent weeks after Sharon Slater, president of Family Watch International, attended an event for the U.N.’s Commission on the Status of Women and found copies of the guide in a room where Girl Scouts were meeting.

The Girls Scouts of the USA released a statement denying they were distributing the guides and suggesting the guides may already have been in the room they were using.

Ruse said that aside from the graphic promotion of sex for young people with HIV, the guide also falsely claims that there are international laws to protect their “human rights.”

“There is no such international right that says that you are not required to reveal your HIV status before having sex,” Ruse said. “There’s no such thing.”

“It is a flat-out lie to say otherwise, and in this brochure it is lies from stem to stern,” he said.

Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for policy studies at the Family Research Council, told CNSNews.com:  “To the extent that ‘sexual rights’ and ‘reproductive rights’ are mentioned in documents of the U.N. or other international agencies, even informally, these terms often have a meaning contrary to that which IPPF gives them. For example, ‘sexual rights’ usually means the right to say NO to unwanted or coerced sex — not a right to HAVE sex under almost any circumstances.”

“By the same token, ‘reproductive rights’  usually involve the right to have children — not the right to destroy them through abortion,” Sprigg said, adding that laws requiring people to disclose to sexual partners that they have HIV protect people and promote sexual health.

IPPF defends its position, saying laws aimed at people with HIV hurt efforts to prevent the spread of the disease and discriminate unfairly against people who have the virus.

“Punitive laws that criminalise HIV transmission will jeopardise global HIV prevention efforts by acting as a disincentive for knowing one’s HIV status and by incorrectly placing an undue burden of responsibility for all safe sex behaviour on people living with HIV (who in many societies are already marginalised and stigmatised),” Kevin Osborne, IPPF senior advisor on HIV told CNSNews.com. “Alternatives to the criminal law must be used to foster increased HIV prevention efforts and behaviours.”

The guide also makes a plug for Planned Parenthood’s profitable “reproductive services.”

“Your local family planning clinic can help you create a plan, whether it is for having children safely, preventing or terminating unplanned pregnancies, or figuring out how to start a family if you are single or in a same-sex relationship,” the guide states.

The Planned Parenthood Federation of America receives more than $350 million of taxpayer funding annually, although federal law prohibits those funds from being used for abortion.

In his early days in office, President Barack Obama signed an executive order reversing the Mexico City Policy that prohibited the use of taxpayer funds to promote or provide abortions abroad, opening the way for U.S.-funded abortions around the world.

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WorldNetDaily reports that a federal judge is demanding the ACLU and the Santa Rosa School District release the names of plaintiffs covered in a consent decree that prevents teachers at the school district from openly practicing their faith.  The ACLU and the school district have so far refused to identify the subjects so that they can keep enforcing the decree even though the plaintiffs no longer attend the school district, which would make the decree moot.

Judge to ACLU: Where are plaintiffs?

School district’s policy has forced teachers to pray in closets


Posted: March 31, 2010
11:50 pm Eastern

By Bob Unruh
© 2010 WorldNetDaily


Teachers say they are literally forced to pray in school closets to avoid contempt charges

A federal judge handling a case brought by the ACLU against a school district that has forced teachers to hide in closets if they want to pray now is demanding documentation about the status of the plaintiffs, whose identifies have been kept secret.

That’s because the case never was certified as class action, which means unless those for whom the case was brought remain in peril over the school’s actions, there are valid questions about “this court’s continued enforcement jurisdiction over the consent decree,” the judge wrote.

WND has reported on the case, which has included an order crafted by the ACLU requiring employees in the Santa Rosa School District to act in an “official capacity” whenever they are at a “school event” – including breaks, after-school events on or off campus and private events held on campus.

Liberty Counsel, a nonprofit Florida law firm, alongside Christian Educators Association International, is seeking to overturn the court order, which has resulted in three school officials being charged with contempt.

According to Liberty Counsel, school officials are strictly prohibited from showing agreement with anyone “communicating with a deity,” such as “bowing the head” or “folding hands.” “School officials” must also prohibit “third-parties” from praying, Liberty Counsel said.

Now, according to Liberty Counsel, the “anonymous plaintiffs” probably have “long since graduated.””But the plaintiffs’ permanent loss of legal standing hasn’t stopped the ACLU and the school district from continuing to defend the consent decree that has become irreversibly moot,” LC said in an announcement today.

“Having failed in its attempts to fine and jail school officials for praying, the ACLU, aided by the school district, has been opposing the efforts of Christian Educators Association International, represented by Liberty Counsel, to have the consent decree declared unconstitutional,” Liberty Counsel said.

The only problem is that the decree became legally moot – or of no consequence whatsoever – “on the day the ACLU’s clients graduated, less than four weeks after it was issued.

“Moreover, without clients that have a legal interest in the litigation, the ACLU was legally barred from continuing to litigate against the people of Santa Rosa County. The ACLU and the school district knew this but conspired to hide the fact that the two anonymous plaintiffs graduated. In the consent decree they jointly submitted to the court, they inserted provisions purporting to require the court to retain jurisdiction for at least five years, thereby inferring that their anonymous clients were much younger. They also asked the court to conceal the plaintiffs’ identity for another five years, so that no one would know they graduated,” according to Liberty Counsel’s report.

U.S. District Judge M. Casey Rodgers now has ordered that the participants “shall submit memoranda to the court by the close of business on April 7, 2010, advising the court on the status of the named plaintiffs’ continued interest in this litigation, the continued validity of the injunctive consent decree, and the basis for this court’s continued enforcement jurisdiction over the consent decree.”

The plaintiffs have always been identified only as “Minor I Doe” and “Minor II Doe.”

“It has been brought to the court’s attention that the two plaintiffs may have graduated from high school and thus no longer suffer a threat of harm from the school board’s policies and practices,” the judge warned.

This, he said, “raises questions regarding the court’s continued enforcement jurisdiction over the decree as well as the validity of the continuing nature of the injunctive relief provided by the consent decree. This case was not a class action. Even though the plaintiffs prevailed on the merits of their cause oef action … if the named plaintiffs no longer have a continuing interest in the suit, there is a genuine issue regarding mootness … which must be addressed.”

Liberty Counsel’s report said, “The ACLU’s conspiracy is now unraveling. Liberty Counsel raised the issue of mootness last year and then again in the motion earlier this year. The federal court that entered the consent decree, which has literally forced teachers and staff to hide in closets to pray, has now demanded an explanation from the ACLU and the school district as to why it should continue to enforce that consent decree.”

Mathew Staver, chairman of Liberty Counsel, said, “The errors in judgment by the ACLU and the school district are stunning. The school district agreed to enter into an unconstitutional consent decree that was legally effective for less than one month, then agreed to pay the ACLU a whopping $200,000, and then expended a great deal of additional resources to oppose Liberty Counsel’s intervention and defend the unconstitutional and moot consent decree.

“From the beginning, our position has been that this order should be set aside. We will not rest until that happens. If the school board does not come to its senses and seize the opportunity before it to make things right, the voters of Santa Rosa County will hold them accountable in the next election.”

As WND reported, Michelle Winkler, a clerical assistant, earlier faced contempt charges after her husband read a prayer at a private banquet held at a Naval base to honor noninstructional school-district employees. The judge eventually found that Winkler’s husband’s prayer at a voluntary gathering outside of school did not violate any court order.

During her testimony, Winkler broke down on the witness stand as she told a story about how her co-worker sought comfort from her after losing her 2-year-old child.

The two hid behind a closet door to pray, for fear they would be seen and held in contempt of the court order.

Denise Gibson, an elementary teacher for 20 years, testified that the order requires her to inform parents that she cannot respond if they mention church or their faith. She said she is prohibited from replying to e-mails from parents if they contain Bible verses or even “God bless you.” Instead, she said, the district has instructed her to open a separate e-mail to answer the parents rather than hit “reply.” The district calls for the action to eliminate any trace of religious language in school communication.

Liberty Counsel earlier successfully defended Pace High School Principal Frank Lay and Athletic Director Robert Freeman against criminal contempt charges after the ACLU complained when Freeman gave a 15-second blessing for a lunch meal for 20 adults with no students present.

The men had faced penalties of up to six months in jail and $5,000 in fines each.

The case began in August 2008 when two anonymous students sued with the help of the ACLU over longstanding practices at the school allowing prayer at some events. The school’s separate counsel had agreed to a consent decree that “essentially bans all Santa Rosa County School District employees from engaging in prayer or religious activities,” Liberty Counsel reported.

Members of the 2009 graduating class at Florida’s Pace High School expressed their objections to the ACLU restrictions on statements of religious faith at their school by rising up en masse at their ceremony and reciting the Lord’s Prayer.

Nearly 400 graduating seniors at Pace, a Santa Rosa County school, stood up at their graduation, according to Staver. Parents, family and friends joined in the recitation and applauded the students when they were finished, Staver told WND.

“Many of the students also painted crosses on their graduation caps to make a statement of faith,” the organization reported.

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Fox News gives us a report that, unfortunately, isn’t an unusual one for the times we live in now.

School-Assisted Abortion a Shocking Lesson

March 25, 2010 – 10:37 AM | by: Dan Springer

Parents of school children in Seattle are learning a shocking lesson, when it comes to some very important decisions they don’t have a say. The mother of a 15-year old girl recently discovered that Ballard High School helped her daughter get an abortion and never informed her.

But it doesn’t end there. The school can also send children off campus for mental health care and drug addiction treatment without their parents ever knowing. Supporters say the confidentiality allows teens who are too afraid to tell mom and dad to get necessary treatment.

Parents signed consent forms for off-school treatment thinking it was limited to emergency health care when the parents could not be reached.  But the teen health clinics at 14 Seattle schools are about much more. They have a full-time registered nurse, counselor and nursing assistant on hand to help kids with more sensitive issues.

When the 15-year old girl’s pregnancy was confirmed, they counseled her on the options. The mother says they encouraged her to have an abortion and not tell her parents. She claims her daughter was told that if she informed her parents they would have to pay for the abortion, otherwise it’s free.

The teen clinics are administered by the King County Health Department. Officials say school clinic workers are supposed to encourage girls to include their parents in the decision. They will not comment on the specifics of the case.

As for the fact the girl was called a taxi and transported by herself to a clinic to have her abortion then driven back to finish her school day, officials say that’s not unusual. They would not say how many girls have been helped to have an abortion.

Washington State is one of thirteen states that does not have either a parental consent or parental notification law. Girls of any age can obtain an abortion without having to tell a parent.

State lawmakers included mental health care and drug counseling on the list of services kids can get without parental notification.

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WorldNetDaily brings us news of a judicial victory by teacher Bradley Johnson over Westview High School in San Diego, California after Johnson sued the school district for forcing him to remove banners he had in his classroom for over 17 years because they contained Christian content.

Teacher wins major victory for God in school

Judge scolds district for trying to scrub America’s Christian heritage


Posted: March 01, 2010
9:48 pm Eastern

By Drew Zahn
© 2010 WorldNetDaily


Bradley Johnson and one of the two banners he was ordered to take down

A federal judge in California has handed down a scathing ruling against a school that required one of its teachers to remove signs celebrating the role of God in American history from his classroom walls.

As WND reported, math teacher Bradley Johnson had banners hanging in his classroom at Westview High School in San Diego, Calif., for more than 17 years with phrases like “In God We Trust” and “All Men Are Created Equal, They Are Endowed by Their Creator,” only to have the principal order them torn down during the 2007 school year.

But Johnson filed a lawsuit alleging the order a violation of his constitutional rights, and the teacher has now been rewarded with a court victory and a powerfully-worded ruling.

“May a school district censor a high school teacher’s expression because it refers to Judeo-Christian views, while allowing other teachers to express views on a number of controversial subjects, including religion and anti-religion?” posited U.S. District Court Judge Roger T. Benitez in his judgment. “On undisputed evidence, this court holds that it may not.”

He continued, “That God places prominently in our nation’s history does not create an Establishment Clause violation requiring curettage and disinfectant for Johnson’s public high school classroom walls. It is a matter of historical fact that our institutions and government actors have in past and present times given place to a supreme God.”

The judge further reprimanded the school, stating that while teachers at the district “encourage students to celebrate diversity and value thinking for one’s self, [they] apparently fear their students are incapable of dealing with diverse viewpoints that include God’s place in American history and culture.”

The older of Johnson’s two signs, which had hung on his wall without complaint for 25 years, measured 7 feet by 2 feet and contained the words “In God We Trust,” “One Nation Under God,” “God Bless America” and “God Shed His Grace On Thee.” The second banner, posted eight years after the first, quoted the Declaration of Independence by including the phrase, “All Men Are Created Equal, They Are Endowed by Their Creator.”


Johnson, the Westview High School teacher ordered to remove his educational banners

Though the district permits other teachers to hang Buddhist, Islamic and Tibetan prayer messages on their classroom walls, Johnson was nonetheless told to take his banners down.

Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel for the Thomas More Law Center, a not-for-profit law firm dedicated to the defense of religious freedoms, commented on the case.

“Many school officials exhibit hostility towards our nation’s Christian heritage. Yet, these same officials see no problem in actively promoting atheism or other religions under the guise of cultural diversity and tolerance,” said Thompson, whose firm filed the lawsuit on Johnson’s behalf. “Hopefully, Judge Benitez’s decision will help put an end to this double standard. It is the responsibility of our public schools to educate students on the crucial role Christianity played in our nation’s founding.”

The charge of a double standard was not lost on Judge Benitez.

“Fostering diversity,” Benitez ruled, “does not mean bleaching out historical religious expression or mainstream morality. By squelching only Johnson’s patriotic and religious classroom banners, while permitting other diverse religious and anti-religious classroom displays, the school district does a disservice to the students of Westview High School, and the federal and state constitutions do not permit this one-sided censorship.”

And in response to the school district’s claim that Johnson’s patriotic banners might make a Muslim student, for example, uncomfortable, Judge Benitez stated, “[A]n imaginary Islamic student is not entitled to a heckler’s veto on a teacher’s passive, popular or unpopular expression about God’s place in the history of the United States.”

The ruling prompted Robert Muise, the Law Center senior trial counsel handling the case, to comment, “It was refreshing to read an opinion that does justice to our nation’s history, rather than rewrite it.”

The judge concluded in his ruling that Johnson was entitled to a declaration that the school violated his constitutional rights and ordered the district to pay nominal damages of $10 per defendant and Johnson’s attorney’s fees and costs. Benitez also ordered the school district to allow Johnson to immediately re-hang the signs.

The Law Center reports Johnson returned the displays to his classroom walls late last week, on the same day the ruling was handed down.

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The Alliance Defense Fund has filed lawsuit against the Board of Education of Half Hollow Hills Central School District after they canceled a Christian club without any warning, citing funding and attendance issues.  They failed to provide evidence supporting their claim and have allowed 60 other clubs to remain active.  The school has a history of discrimination against the Christian club.

NY high school cancels Christian club, lets 60 others remain

ADF attorneys file suit against Board of Education of Half Hollow Hills after officials shut Christian student club down
Thursday, February 18, 2010, 12:00 AM (MST) |
ADF Media Relations | 480-444-0020


CENTRAL ISLIP, NY — Alliance Defense Fund attorneys filed a lawsuit Thursday against the Board of Education of Half Hollow Hills Central School District on behalf of a student who was told that school officials cancelled, without her knowledge, the Christian club she helps lead. School officials claimed that unspecified budget cuts and a lack of student popularity spurred their decision, even though the club had more than 55 student attendees last year and approximately 60 other student clubs, including the Gay-Straight Alliance and Amnesty International, were allowed to continue.

“Christian student groups in public schools shouldn’t be discriminated against simply because they are religious,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel David Cortman. “Singling out a religious student club while letting the vast majority of the others remain constitutes viewpoint discrimination and is unconstitutional. In addition, it’s simply false that this club is not popular with students. More than 90 students signed a petition in favor of allowing the club to continue meeting.

“At the beginning of her freshman year at Half Hollow Hills High School East, the student was told that the Ichthus Club, a student-led group where she was one of the leaders, had been cancelled without any advanced notification. Four years earlier, her older brother met strong resistance before the club was finally allowed to form. Once he graduated, the school cancelled the club, even though the existence of clubs is not dependent upon a particular person’s leadership.

Instead, school officials claimed that a budget crunch was a key factor spurring the decision to cancel two or three clubs, including the Ichthus Club, yet officials provided no response when ADF attorneys asked to see evidence in support of their decision. Administration also asserted that the club’s lack of popularity was another reason for its cancellation, even though more than 55 students were on the club’s attendance roll last year.

The student leader worked diligently to negotiate with the administration to keep the club, even offering to cut expenses by meeting every other week and finding a club advisor who would volunteer, but officials and the school board declined the offer.

ADF attorneys filed the lawsuit J.P. v. Board of Education of Half Hollow Hills Central School District with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Robert W. Dapelo, one of more than 1,600 attorneys in the ADF alliance, is serving as local counsel in the case.

ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith.  Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.

www.telladf.org facebook.com/AllianceDefenseFund twitter.com/adfmedia

Note: Facts in ADF news releases are verified prior to publication but may change over time. Members of the media are encouraged to contact ADF for the latest information on this matter.

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CNSNews reports that a lawsuit has been brought against Lower Merion School District after families learned that school officials were using the webcams in school-issued laptops to spy on students while they were at home.

Lawsuit Accuses School of Spying on Students at Home by Webcam

Thursday, February 18, 2010
By Maryclaire Dale, Associated Press

Philadelphia (AP) – A federal lawsuit accuses a suburban Philadelphia school district of spying on students at home through school-issued laptop webcams.

The suit says Lower Merion School District officials can activate the webcams remotely without students’ knowledge. The lawsuit alleges the cameras captured images of Harritan High School students and their families as they undressed and in other compromising situations.

Families learned of the alleged webcam images when an assistant principal spoke to a student about inappropriate behavior at home.

Superintendent Christopher W. McGinley did not immediately return a message left by The Associated Press.

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WorldNetDaily brings us a post where Melissa Hussain, a science teacher for West Lake Middle School in North Carolina, has been suspended with pay after sending students to the office when they questioned the role of God during a teaching on evolution.  The students reportedly left a Bible on Ms. Hussain’s desk with a Christmas card with the word “Christ” underlined.  She and her friends later left inflammatory remarks on her Facebook page criticizing the students and calling their actions a “hate crime”.

Teacher cries ‘hate crime’ over Bible left on desk

‘I can’t believe the cruelty and ignorance of people sometimes’


Posted: February 18, 2010
12:25 am Eastern

By Chelsea Schilling
© 2010 WorldNetDaily

An eighth-grade teacher has accused her students of committing a “hate crime” and being “cruel” because they left a Bible on her desk and a Christmas card with the word “Christ” underlined.

Melissa Hussain, an Apex, N.C., science teacher at West Lake Middle School, is suspended with pay and may lose her job after she purportedly clashed with students on the subject of religion and sent students to the school office when they asked about the role of God in creation during a lesson about evolution.

Hussain wrote on her then-public Facebook page that it was a “hate crime” when her students left a Bible on her desk, according to the Charlotte News & Observer. She complained about students singing “Jesus Loves Me” and wearing Jesus T-shirts.

Hussain said she “was able to shame her kids” over the incidents.

“I can’t believe the cruelty and ignorance of people sometimes,” Hussain wrote on the social networking site.

She said she wouldn’t let the Bible incident “go unpunished.”

The teacher’s Facebook profile did not indicate her religious affiliation. It has been set to private since her comments became public.The teacher also called parents who complain about their children receiving their first “B” grade in middle school “ridiculous.”

According to reports, Hussain’s friends responded by posting comments on the teacher’s Facebook page that talked about “ignorant Southern rednecks” and calling the parents of Hussain’s students “bigoted, stupid and uncaring.”

Another friend suggested Hussain bring a poster to class of NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. with a swastika drawn on his forehead because doing so would be “teaching” students a lesson.

“And without a job,” Hussain replied. “But I like it!”

According to several media reports, parents say they complained to officials with the Wake County Public School System three weeks ago. As of Feb. 12, Hussain is under suspension for five days while district officials investigate the complaints.

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