Editor: We believe it is time for the chairwoman of the School Board, Patience Nave, to step down and permit a member to take over who has an understanding of responsibilities to Citrus County citizens and students, and who knows how to act with tact and diplomacy rather than personal showmanship because of personal religious beliefs.
Citrus Times editor Greg Hamilton called the recent board meeting a "tent revival masquerading as a School Board meeting." "After listing the ground rules for comments, chiefly that only one member of a group should speak, chairwoman Patience Nave sat smiling as the kids trampled her rules. . . . Often through tears, the students testified about the role Jesus Christ and the FCA have played in their young lives."
We suspect that one or more of the board members knew well in advance what was to take place.
Our tax money, which supports Citrus County education, educators and the School Board is not intended for introduction of religious issues and activities into the schools and board meetings, whether on school property or not. At School Board meetings we expect and demand orderly meetings intended only for public educational issues. For this reason, early on we agreed with board member Carol Snyder's suggestion of recognizing other religions.
Though we are Christians, we have numerous friends of other religious beliefs, and we defend their beliefs.
The county and state are fully aware of Nave's imposing prayer into our daily lives much in the same way we have become a laughingstock because of our recent election ballot problems. Even the People For the American Way organization has been aware of her activities.
Again, we urge that Nave be replaced as chairwoman without delay. If she will begin to act as a tactful and educationally-minded member of the board, there is reason to believe she may be elected again, if she runs.
Our suggestion is to replace her with Snyder.
George and Frances Harbin
Don't sit back and
let Nave be attacked
Editor: Opponents of prayer and expression of religion in schools personally show the need of both in their lives.
At the School Board meeting March 13, the shouts of "liar" "cowards" "hypocrites" could be heard throughout the meeting. As board member Carol Snyder, or the "outsider," as she is fond of referring to herself, made two attempts to vote to eliminate vocal prayer from the beginning of our School Board meetings, her supporters, all five of them, hurled personal remarks at the other members of the board.
Charles Schrader chastised chairwoman Patience Nave as a weakling who was only interested in shamelessly exploiting children for her own political gain. Later in the portion of the meeting open for public input, Snyder's son-in-law repeatedly, from the back of the auditorium and without identifying himself or moving to the microphone so he could be recorded, repeatedly called Mrs. Nave a "liar."
Many thousands of registered voters in this county have proclaimed no confidence in Snyder's attempt to represent them on the School Board. Petitions are still circulating and can be sent to you. The address is: Don Bates, P.O. Box 243, Lecanto, FL 34460.
I want to thank the many people who have responded. There has been a mix-up with folks calling the Don Bates in the telephone book. I am unlisted, so please respond to the mailing address only. My apology to the gentleman whose name I share.
Do not sit back and watch as Nave and the three other board members are attacked. Attend School Board meetings and see to it the members of the board know you support them. Write to them. Write to the newspapers, whose editorial boards have given many pages of newsprint to attack Christian believers in this county and every member of the School Board, other than Snyder. Write to the Citrus County Council and let them know they are not speaking for Citrus County when they attack Nave and call her shameful.
We are not the governed; we are the government.
Oust school dictators
in next election
Editor: The School Board's treatment of member Carol Snyder and the non-fundamentalists of this county is deplorable, disgraceful and, from the information I am getting, illegal. How can all four of you look in the mirror without shame? Eventually your arrogance will be regrettable to yourselves and to the people, mostly the children of this community.
You cater to Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson and ignore all the other faiths and beliefs, which are many. I will do everything I can by speaking to as many people as I can to oust you dictators from office in the next election. As a World War II veteran, and remembering acts like yours in Europe and Asia, you people and people like you are a threat to us all. You are on the board to serve all the people, not only yourselves and the fundamentalists. Think hard on what you've done, as it is not over yet.