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Nov 30 2008
released time credit act

Got a letter from FFRF asking for people in our state to step up as plaintiffs in a case against the passing of the Released Time Credit Act, which basically allows high school students to get a credit towards their diploma for taking a period/class to leave school and go to a Christian bible study. I know a couple of schools upstate have implemented this but I haven't heard if any in Charleston County do. You have to be a tax payer from that county or have a child going to school there. I'm going to probe into seeing if I can do it on the grounds that I pay state taxes and those taxes are indiscriminately funding all public schools in the state...not just my county. Anyone know more about this?

Dec 4 2008
Re: released time credit act

I checked with the presidents of the 3 state AU chapters to see if they knew of any schools doing this. The only ones they knew are in Spartenburg ( I like the state taxpayer approach. If that is valid, I'd be interested too.


Dec 8 2008
Re: released time credit act

I called the FFRF today. They took my name, etc. and are going to forward it to the lawyer. We could be useful depending on how the lawsuit is against the school district or against the state.

Jan 27 2009
Re: released time credit act

Georgetown schools are the next to do this. ... =Printable

Public school may offer Bible study course

Posted: Jan 22, 2009 04:44 PM

Updated: Jan 26, 2009 06:36 PM

By Nicole Johnson bio | email

PAWLEY'S ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - Study the Bible and earn high school credit. Some parents and the school board in Georgetown County are making it possible. It will be a new elective class, where public school students can learn about Jesus Christ.

For the very first time at Waccamaw High School students can choose if they want a Christian education at school.

"We pride ourselves here at Waccamaw High School. We offer every varsity sport the high school league allows. We offer an IB, AP, and PACE college class curriculum. We offer very diverse curriculum, and I think it's just in with our mission to offer that diverse curriculum," Principal David Hammel said.

The school has been approved by the district board to allow the non-profit group "Coastal Schools Ministries" to oversee teaching and report back student's grades and attendance. Principal David Hammel says many parents and community members support the idea and he doesn't feel it crosses any boundaries.

"Not with it being voluntary in my building and with none of my school personnel or myself allowed to recruit students, talk to students about it, etcetera. We see it as just another avenue for student learning," Hammel said.

Students who choose to take the course will leave campus for the Bible classes, which will take place at All Saints Church. It's about a mile and a half up the road from the high school.

The principal says the specifics of the class are still being ironed out and will need to be approved by the school board, but the class may be worth two credits as an elective.

"Again I think it's just another opportunity, and we're open to any other group that would like to come in as well," Hammel said.

Ninth to twelfth graders can choose to take the class, but the school won't come out and tell students about it. Students will have to hear about it from their parents or church ministers, and then go to the guidance office to sign up.

The principal says not a dime of district money will go toward this class. It will all be privately funded.

Feb 1 2009
Re: released time credit act

Jeeeezus H Christ. It seems like the only people willing to protect our children from religious indoctrination died 200 years ago or are you guys.

May 5 2009
Re: released time credit act

Thank you so much for your information :D

[color=#ECF3F7:3b2uta14][u:3b2uta14]organisme de credit[/u:3b2uta14][/color:3b2uta14]

May 6 2009
Re: released time credit act

How about a Secular Humanist release time class?

Frank B.

May 6 2009
Re: released time credit act

if the school pays the "teaching" of these classes, then it's clearly a violation .. that's what they're counting on.. it's volenteer!

so what qualifys us to teach secular humanity.. it would be like saying "ok you do realize there's no god right... ok you pass"

May 11 2009
Re: released time credit act

It would seem that this class has been drawn up very carefully to skirt the issue of church / state separation. The classes are off campus, the "teachers" are non-faculty and the "classes" are privately funded. The only method of attack I see is the credit hours. For classes to be worth credit hours they have to provide some educational value. Classes on religious studies have long been an acceptable course of study but it seems that this is a lame attempt to introduce a prayer session in the guise of religious education.

The way such programs are beaten is from the inside. Secular students have to sign up for these courses and object to the school board about the lack of educational material. This is obviously a heavy burden to place on a young person but as parents we will get the response "it is an elective course if your child object to it donít have him enrollee" while completely ignoring the slippery slope argument. If a prayer session is recognized as formal education even if it is off campus whatís to stop one from being formed on campus or changed over to a required course?

If religious students want to attend prayer sessions it's no problem but receiving school credits and an opportunity to leave campus crosses the line. We need to bring sex ed, non Eurocentric history, and real science into the classroom; and put religious proselytizing back in the pulpit.

May 11 2009
Re: released time credit act

if the school pays the "teaching" of these classes, then it's clearly a violation .. that's what they're counting on.. it's volenteer!

so what qualifys us to teach secular humanity.. it would be like saying "ok you do realize there's no god right... ok you pass"

"Secular humanity" classes would actually be quite simple. I is impossible to eliminate the possibility of a god, but it is quite easy to disprove the various representatives that are cited in the major religions. By focusing on the texts and documents that are contradictory or out of sync with modern religious teachings would be a very effective manor of teaching people that the modern views of Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam are all flawed and that the gods they represent no longer mirror modern interpretations or beliefs.

The truth is the more someone studies a religion, focusing on the documented history and other religions of the time, the less faith you have in it's authenticity. If secular humanists were able to volunteer and contribute to the discussion we could shift it from being a empty session of bowing heads and empty reassurances everything is going to be all right, to a true study of the Christian bible focusing on its contradictions and the dark passages everyone just skips over. Also looking into the history of the Christian church would help students still slaves to the "good" book.

Unfortunately, we neither want such confrontation nor would be able to engineer it, since the courses are privately funded by a ministry group who would definitely find our teaching material objectionable.

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