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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Rossford cancels Christian rock band; local group was to play at anti-drug school assembly next week

By IGNAZIO MESSINA
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Rossford High School officials were considering letting a Christian rock band play during an anti-drug assembly next week, but decided yesterday to cancel the performance because of concerns over having religious music played in a public school.
"We are just shutting the whole thing down," Rossford Superintendent Luci Gernot said. "There is some controversy, and I'd rather err on this side."

The school district's law firm, Whalen & Compton of Akron told school officials yesterday that it "wasn't appropriate" to let the band Pawn perform at the school, Ms. Gernot said.

A representative of the law firm could not be reached for comment last night.

Pawn's songs regularly make reference to Jesus and God, said David Kleeberger, the band's manager who is also a member of the Rossford school board.

Mr. Kleeberger is the father of band member Kyle Kleeberger, a senior at Rossford High.

"I'm between a rock and a hard place because I represent the schools," Mr. Kleeberger said. "I don't want anyone suing the schools over this."

Students would have had the option of whether or not to attend the band's performance, which was going to be held during school hours.

Students who chose not to attend the performance would either go to a study hall or view an anti-drug-themed movie in the school auditorium.

Donna Chiarelott, whose son is a senior at the school, objected to the band's performance.

"I think there is a place for Christian bands, and schools aren't where they belong," Ms. Chiarelott said. "Maybe most people don't really see anything wrong with it, but there is a line and this is crossing it. I'm amazed they even considered it."

Ms. Gernot said she did not see the harm in allowing the band to play, but understood Ms. Chiarelott's concerns.

"I look at it similar to when we have our choir singing songs," Ms. Gernot said. "There is a lot of choir literature that is very Christian in nature, and I don't see that as religious in nature."

Kyle Kleeberger said he and other members of the band are disappointed about not being able to perform.

"Most of the kids want us to play," he said. "We were going in there to talk about drugs, and what our beliefs are on that. But everyone knows us as a Christian band, and that's a touchy subject, I guess."

Interestingly, it was a 1936 Rossford High School graduate, atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair, then known as Madalyn Mays, whose lawsuit against Baltimore public schools led to the 1963 Supreme Court ruling outlawing prayer in schools.

Contact Ignazio Messina at:
[email protected]
or 419-724-6171.
 

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Interesting case. I can see where this is a restriction of artistic expression that violates the First Amendment, and also see where this is preventing violation of the First Amendment by using taxpayer-supported facilities to proseletize a religion.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, I am in favor of Jefferson's "wall of separation" but it seems like certain people are building a spite fence.
 

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Mystic Knight of the Sea
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I'll bet there wouldnt have been a big stink if several blacks formed a group and wanted to spew off their rap crap about shooting cops and mumbling about their "hos" and stuff.

It seems to me if a different style musical group could rent/use the school facility or it could be used for job fairs, homosexual/*** group getogethers, chess clubs, womens rights organizations, etc, it would be religious descrimination to not allow a group to use it because they wanted to present a religious based music session or whatever they call it.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
There seems to be an unwritten exception for the religious left.

A politician can go to a black church for a service and constantly meet with Black ministers without being hammered in the press. You can take school kids on a field trip to a mosque to learn about Islam without violating church and state or being accused of being a missionary.
 

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Pogo said:
I'll bet there wouldnt have been a big stink if several blacks formed a group and wanted to spew off their rap crap about shooting cops and mumbling about their "hos" and stuff.

It seems to me if a different style musical group could rent/use the school facility or it could be used for job fairs, homosexual/*** group getogethers, chess clubs, womens rights organizations, etc, it would be religious descrimination to not allow a group to use it because they wanted to present a religious based music session or whatever they call it.
Thanks for saying it Pogo. Saved me from doing it.

I remember before the Cold war ended, Paul Harvey told about a religous group singing in all these communists countries. Russia, Poland, Czechoslovakia. But guess where they were not allowed to play? The Land of the Free and The Home of the Brave. Does anyone know if Paul Harvey is still on?
 
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