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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Country song proves too religious for some St. Johns parents



Children Singing In preparation for their year-end program, students at Webster School in St. Augustine were learning to sing a tune by the popular country group Diamond Rio.

Here's the opening stanza:

"You place your hand on His Bible, when you swear to tell the truth
His name is on our greatest monuments, and all our money too,
And when we pledge allegiance, there's no doubt where we stand,
There is no separation, we're one Nation under Him."

The parents of two third-graders didn't find "In God We Still Trust" appropriate for a public school setting. It's religious indoctrination, they said.

So they're suing the St. Johns school district because their children were forced to learn it, the Florida Times-Union reports.

The school has removed the song from the assembly lineup. But the district is defending the school's right to include a religious piece in assemblies, noting that many choral pieces have their history in religion.

"A public school ... does not endorse religion because its choir sings a Christian song," board attorney David Marsey told the Times-Union.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:18am]


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