Religious intolerance, crass commercialism or goofy parenting?

While surfing a Unitarian Usenet newsgroup, someone posted a story. The synopsis of which can be found here:

It was presented in the Usenet posting as an infringment on their religious rights. In fact, there’s a website from The Church of God taking their side.

The whole link I quoted from above couches it as just a way to try and get thr Ohio governor to get commercials out of schools. SOmething that might be a seperate issue.

When looking even further, I found this link at

Okay, so far so good. I was avtually getting ready to cut & paste it when I read on:


It goes on to say:

So, where are the lines to be drawn here? Whose rights are being infringed upon anyway? And can one use “religion” to get out of any school activities?

Looks like a mixture of all three, to me.

Some prison inmate and his wife got daily sex visits, citing God’s decree to be “be fruitful and multiply,” so I guess anything is possible. :rolleyes:

The simple solution? If the parents find school objectionable, they should exercize their right to yank them out of public school and into home-school. Nobody is forcing the kiddoes to go to the public school.

The parents need to take some initiative and stop whining.

My two cents.



Granted, regular broadcast TV is not exactly a font of spiritual growth material (except Babylon 5 :D)

Refusing to view an educational video designed for classroom use is completely stupid. No you do not need television to learn but alot of information can be better conveyed with actual pictures and computer graphics. Its not critical but its a hell of alot more efficent?

A teacher could try to draw pictures of say a monkey, but those drawings do not convey relative size, method movement, appearance from different angles, or other things that would greatly enhance our knowledge of the animal without even taking the time to specify. A video could do all of that in a few seconds.

I like SDJ’s home school idea of if there is a private school that caters to their religious views maybe it would be better to have them placed there.

Just how often are these kids getting to watch “movies” and “educational videos”, anyway? Once a semester, once a month, once a week? It would seem to me that the Maurers’ distaste for all things video shouldn’t be an insuperable barrier to their getting a good education, unless large amounts of what they’re supposed to be learning is actually conveyed over the TV.

I also don’t understand the contradictory statements that Principal Calvin (1) suspended them for walking out on the Channel One broadcast and (2) “offered to let them pass” on the Channel One broadcast. Which is it? Can they skip Channel One or can’t they? If so, as I said, it seems implausible to me that the school is showing so much TV at other times that they can’t figure out a way to deal with it. But it’s twenty years since I was in high school, and we didn’t have school TVs then.

As for Channel One, it’s commercial crap. The company makes a deal with schools that they have to show its “news”/commercial mix to 80% of their students on 90% of school days in order to get the free electronic equipment the company provides. Naturally, if people like the Maurers inspire a wave of fellow-objectors, the school could get in trouble with its corporate partner.

BTW, great recommendation, Soup! Heaven forbid that parents and students should actually attempt to protest what they consider gross abuse of public education, rather than just shutting up and going elsewhere! :rolleyes:

Fighting ignorance from behind enemy lines, I take it? Are you really so ignorant of US laws to think that no one is forcing the kids to go to school? Just what part of “Ohio’s strict truancy laws” did you not understand?

So, Ohio’s ‘Strict Truancy Laws’ forbid private schools and homeschooling?

Eh, Ryan, what Soup actually said was:

Bolding mine.

Requirements for home schooling in Ohio.

I’m with Soup AND Kimstu–if the parents don’t like it, they can either send their kids somewhere else, or they can band together with other parents and get Channel One out of their school. Public schools are paid for by Your Tax Dollars–the school board works for the taxpayers.

But to just instruct your kids, “Now, don’t let them show you any TV” and then send them off to school to bear the brunt of all this, is IMO unconscionable, and damn poor parenting. If Mrs. Maurer really objects to her kids watching TV at school, and if she really cares about them, she should take them out of a situation where they’re forced to make a spectacle of themselves like this. I feel sorry for the kids–they’re the ones who are suffering the most.

And I’m old enough to remember the first demonization of TV, the “vast wasteland” thing from the 1950s. It’s an issue that’s never going to go away.