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Separation (of church and state) anxiety

Keeping religion out of public schools in the Bible Belt is no easy chore, but the courts are clear: Administrators have to try

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Posted: Saturday, April 13, 2013 5:05 pm

During his last year in charge of Chesterfield County Schools, Dr. John Williams found himself grappling with thorny religious issues at nearly every turn.

First a maverick middle school principal hosted a mandatory proselytizing rally complete with a Christian rapper during school hours, culminating in posting a tally of children “saved” on the gym scoreboard. With rights groups breathing down his neck in a lawsuit, he started making changes, much to the chagrin of most parents. But he couldn’t move fast enough and by the time Christmas rolled around, he was spending time with “carol counts,” the seemingly trivial task of figuring out just how many faith-based carols could be included in school choral concerts and still satisfy the Constitution and the U.S. Supreme Court.

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