The same school board that ignored parents' objections and allowed what many regard as a “gay pride” flag to be placed in a Livingston County, Michigan, high school has repeatedly rejected the idea of displaying posters featuring the US national motto “In God We Trust.”
Despite outrage from pro-family community members, Howell (Michigan) High School has refused to take down the rainbow-colored “diversity flag” that some students and parents who associate the emblem with homosexual pride find offensive. However, when the group called the Livingston Organization for Values in Education, or LOVE, offered to donate framed copies of “In God We Trust” posters for classroom display, the Howell Board of Education turned down the offer.
Some board members have argued that the community members protesting the rainbow flag are misinterpreting its meaning and significance. The flag was hung by the Howell High School's Diversity Club with the school administration's permission; and according to its defenders, the flag denotes tolerance, inclusion, and acceptance for all — not necessarily promotion of the homosexual lifestyle.
Some Howell school officials believe LOVE's primary agenda in pushing the national motto poster and prolonging debate over the rainbow flag is simply to pressure the district to remove the flag and change its diversity policy. In a recent Ann Arbor News report, Howell School Board president Mary Jo Dymond said she and the other board members have moved on from this nearly two-year-old issue, and others who want to continue fighting over the “diversity flag” need to move on as well.
Nevertheless, LOVE spokeswoman Vicki Fyke says her group is not giving up the fight. “We will be at every school board meeting, asking again for some reconsideration,” she insists. Meanwhile, the concerned citizens group is pressing the issue in other ways.
One LOVE member, Howell resident Tom Mallon, has e-mailed a letter to the school board and to Superintendent Chuck Briener, sharply criticizing the school officials' decision to refuse the national motto poster. In the letter, Ann Arbor News reports, Mallon claimed the district has demonstrated “a proclivity to disregard the traditional values” for which his group stands, and has stifled debate over these issues.
At the same time, Fyke points out, “We're educating the public. We're putting together some brochures, and we're going to make a mailing to the people that signed the marriage amendment and ask for some help. Now that we realize [the school board] won't listen to reason, maybe they'll listen to some numbers.”
The LOVE representative feels the school board is promoting a one-sided view of diversity by displaying the homosexual pride flag while spurning the “In God We Trust” poster. She believes the board is demonstrating its bias and hypocrisy by censoring the national motto while embracing the controversial “gay pride” symbol to promote homosexuality.
“In trying to make one group of children feel comfortable, they have no problem offending another group of children,” Fyke contends. “So we're just trying to find a way to bring common sense to the cause and see if we can find a way to make all the kids feel comfortable to go to school.”
According to the American Family Association's Center for Law & Policy, three circuits of the US Court of Appeals have upheld the constitutionality of the national motto. Nevertheless, the Howell School Board has repeatedly rejected the offer of the “In God We Trust” poster, giving as its reason that the issue of the separation of church and state is still being debated in court.
(This article courtesy of Agape Press.)