Religious and Family Freedom and the Wake County School Board

Saturday, July 29, 2006

My name is Rhonda, and as you have already read, our family is involved in a lawsuit against the Wake County School Board. I am going to be posting updated information as to what is happening in our case with hopes that others will be helped and be aware of what the School Board has done and will continue to do if not opposed in these policies. Of course, the religious freedom is an issue, but the issue that spawned the religious freedom problem we are dealing with right now is the fact that the School Board has decided that it is OK to separate siblings that would normally attend the same school. As a result of this one decision, a myriad of other issues have arisen - the opportunities for Brittany and Amber to go to Seminary each morning; the opportunities for Brittany to continue practicing and participating in her quartet and in the Choral Counsel; and the opportunities for Brittany and Amber to attend after-school activities and functions (various lessons and practices). Of course the big issue is that David is gone on almost a weekly basis so I am left to have to decide which child to support during any given week if the girls' concerts and such fall on the same day. As a full-time, in- and out-of-the-home working mother, it is going to be very difficult to volunteer my time between two schools (and we all know that parental involvement in the schools is essential to the education of our sons and daughters).

As of today, our case is set for hearing on August 14th to hear our Motions to Stay the School Board Decision and for an Expedited Hearing. Hopefully we can make some headway against the School Board's delay tactics. The School Board's attorney filed a Motion for an Extension of Time to answer the Petition we filed. As such, they declared that the Brittany would not be prejudiced (prejudiced is a term meaning disadvantaged or harmed) if granted their Motion, so a Judge signed the order the following day approving their extension. As a result, they do not have to answer the Petition until Aug. 14 (now the day of the hearing). School begins on August 25th - just 11 days after defendants have to answer the Petition. The process may weeks, months, or even years in all - a significant amount of time when a child's education is involved.

I will, in future postings, cite the General Statutes that I have used, as well as any other research that I find that may help our cause - or others'. If you have any circumstances such as ours, I pray that you find time to write your School Board representative and let them know how you feel about these issues that our family has raised. I know of many others out there who have missed their opportunities to fight this thoughtless policy of splitting up their children, or that of the School Board dismissing religious beliefs and practices so that their interests may be served, and not those of the children.

If you do not know your School Board representative, you can find their information at the following link: http://www.wcpss.net/Board/boeinfo.html

One a side note, our family was interviewed by a journalist from WUNC-NPR on Saturday, July 23rd. As soon as the piece is ready to air, we will link it to this blog.

We hope that, even if we do not prevail, that others will become aware of the rights that we have, as parents, to fight against the governmental policies that go against our families and our faith.

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