The American Center for Law and Justice has successfully aided students from a New York-area high school in expressing their religious freedom through an after-school Bible study.
Concerned parents contacted the legal group after learning that the superintendent of an unnamed high school in Amsterdam, N.Y., had told a senior female student that she could not hold her student-led, after-school Bible study club without first purchasing an insurance policy to use the campus after school hours.
The superintendent made his request of the Bible study club even though other student-led clubs were not required to obtain an insurance policy. After being contacted by concerned parents and students, the ACLJ reportedly provided parents information about "relevant legal principals regarding religious clubs' access to school facilities," coming to the conclusion "that the Bible club must be given the same privileges as any other student-led club." more >>
The mother of 11-year-old Michael Morones, who attempted suicide in February after months of being bullied for his love of "My Little Pony," is finally speaking out about her son's condition and her views on bullying in general. Sadly, the boy may suffer from "locked-in syndrome," which prevents him from communicating with loved ones.
"Sometimes our kids think they're strong and they're tough and they can handle everything, but as a parent it's our job to say, 'You know what, this is something I get to handle for you.' It's not fighting their battles for them, but it's showing them how to do it when they get older and they're equipped better to do that," Tiffany Morones-Suttle told HuffPost Live.
Morones was passionate about all things "My Little Pony" and had a collection of the toy ponies at his home in North Carolina. However, he reportedly suffered a great deal of bullying for his passion and in February, hung himself off a bunk bed railing. By the time his parents found him, he was unconscious. They rushed him to a hospital, where he was declared in a comatose state and put on life support. The young boy has become an inspiration to other young men and older men who enjoy "My Little Pony" and refer to themselves as "Bronies." more >>
A transgender student at George Fox University in Oregon is fighting the college to move from an all-female dorm to an all-male dorm now that his transition is complete. The student, known only as Jayce M., has a lot of support from fellow students on campus, but the college says that it must stick to and follow its theological convictions.
"I have the right, as any other male, to live on campus with males," Jayce told KPTV. "I'm going to fight for that."
He has battled the school for over a week and has retained an attorney to help him fight to live on-campus with friends. Jayce does have the option to life off-campus or by himself in a single room, but that is not what he wants. He has gathered a great deal of support – over 14,000 people signed a petition to allow Jayce to live wherever he wants, including on campus. Those petitions have since been delivered to officials at George Fox University. more >>
A school district in California says it will allow students to distribute coins with imprinted Bible passages during non-instructional time on campus. The decision from the district came after Freedom X, a legal group, complained on behalf of a local family.
A spokesperson for the Apple Valley Unified School District near Hesperia, Calif., said Monday that teachers at Desert Knolls Elementary School violated the religious freedom rights of Steven and Patrick Peterson when they told the students that they could not pass out fake coins with the Bible verse John 3:16 written on one side and the question "Where will you spend eternity?" written on the other.
"We're going to make sure that students are protected," Thomas Hoegerman, superintendent of the Apple Valley Unified School District, told the San Bernardino Sun. "There was no malicious intent but we clearly had folks who didn't fully understand the implications." more >>
A science and wildlife center in San Mateo, Calif., has reportedly removed a disclaimer regarding evolution from one of its exhibit signs after receiving backlash from the online atheist community.
The CuriOdyssey center at Coyote Point recently clarified to atheist blogger Hemant Mehta that it had removed a disclaimer regarding evolution from one of its exhibit signs. Mehta contacted the museum out of concern after seeing a picture of the science museum's sign on Twitter, posted by Adam Rogers, an editor and writer at The Wire.
The science museum sign was advertising an exhibit titled "Animal Connections," where children would have the opportunity to get "up close and personal" with that day's theme animal, "reptiles." The sign also read at the bottom: "This program may discuss the topic of evolution." more >>
An aspiring nun is being held back from joining the convent by student loan debt. She hopes that by telling her story and appealing to people around the world, she will receive enough in donations to pay off her student loan and commit herself to life in a convent.
Mary Beth Baker, 28, wants to enter the convent for the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecelia in Nashville, Tennessee. However, she is struggling to repay $25,000 worth of student loan debt that the school says she must pay before she can leave for the convent. Even though her alma mater, Christendom College, has forgiven part of her debt, she has to repay the remaining $25,000.
Part of the problem is that she will not make any money while she is in the convent – nuns must take a vow of poverty that will prevent her from making any payments on the debt. She is supposed to enter the convent in mid-August and must have all of her debts paid off before then. Baker has turned to a crowd-raising website, FUNDLY, to help spread the word and raise money to pay off the student loans. more >>