Brunswick Blinks Over Allowing Pagan Participation

The critical vote that would enact a controversial new policy dealing with religious material in local schools has been put aside pending further review.

“Brunswick County school leaders are not opening the doors to religious groups. At least not yet. The board put off a decision on allowing groups to hand out religious literature in the high schools. Board members said they heard from the public and from attorneys about the controversial policy. They decided they want to take a closer look at the options and consequences before taking a final vote.”

The now-tabled policy would have allowed religious groups to come into the schools and distribute religious materials. Controversy arose due to the language of the policy which was vague enough that it could have allowed the school board to pick and choose which religions were allowed to distribute literature. This garnered the attention of Pagan/New Age publisher Llewellyn, who sent a letter to the board offering to distribute free Pagan books at schools through local Pagan groups.

It looks like the offer and resulting fear of Pagans infiltrating local schools was the motivating factor in tabling the motion.

“Board member Shirley Babson says she’s not afraid of potential lawsuits. She’s afraid of giving the appearance that the board approves of the literature groups would show the kids. “If I put something like this on the table, kids are going to say ‘Mrs. Babson thinks that’s alright. Mrs. Babson thinks that’s fine,’ ” Babson said.”

So it looks like the issue has been side-stepped. While it seems that the forces of plurality have triumphed, all it would take is a board member putting it back on the agenda for this to happen again. No doubt the issue will return once they think the public spotlight is off them. But for now, the school board has blinked in the showdown with the Pagan publisher.

Related posts:
4.20.2006 Llewellyn Gets Political
4.21.2006 Interview with Steven M Pomije

Jason Pitzl-Waters

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