Wednesday, May 18, 2005


PA School District Calls Suit Baseless

The following letter was sent to parents, students, and residents of the Marple Newton School District (Pennsylvania) by Superintendent of Schools Robert A. Mesaros. The district is being sued by parent Donna Bush, who was denied permission to read Bible passages to her son's elementary school class.

You may be aware that the Marple Newtown School District has been sued for protecting the rights of the students in a Culbertson elementary class. Each day, we, as a school district are entrusted with a tremendous responsibility to help prepare our students to be productive citizens. We take that responsibility very seriously. Our children’s education and the protection of their rights and the rights of their families are paramount to the District. We respect the practice of religion and the important place it holds in our community. However, the law says that place is not in the classroom of a taxpayer-funded public school.

We recently requested that a parent not read a passage from a religious text to a kindergarten class during a classroom activity. Our request upheld the law and did not discriminate against anyone or any religion. The law applies uniformly to everyone in our school environment. Because a public school teacher cannot read aloud from a religious text in a classroom setting, a parent can’t do it in that setting either.

We have an obligation to protect the rights of all our students and their families. We take that responsibility very seriously and will continue to do all that we can to protect the rights of our students and their families.

This suit is baseless and is nothing more than an attempt to make headlines. In an ongoing effort to protect the rights of our students and their families, we will vigorously defend against this lawsuit. Sadly, the defense of this suit will ultimately take away valuable financial resources that would normally be used to buy computers, musical equipment and books.


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