The Walkerville Weekly Reader

National Desk: Hard-hitting journalism from your completely un-biased (pinky swear!) reporters in Walkerville, VA.

Walkerville, VA
Monday, July 8, 2024
Carolyn Purcell, Editor

AUSCS voucher plea

Americans United for the Synchronization of Church and State, a little-known right-wing organization dedicated to government-run schools, made a heartfelt plea this week to block school choice. “Otherwise, who knows what might be taught in schools?” asked AUSCS Executive Director Barry W. Lynn.

Bellamy salute: Students pledging allegiance to the American flag with the Bellamy salute.; National Socialism; Nazis; educational hegemony; socialism

AUSCS: A strong government school system is necessary to protect the weak masses from the powerful corporations.

The conservative Americans United for the Synchronization of Church and State launched an anti-voucher policy offensive this week in a mass-mailing to supporters throughout the country. The organization says it is worried that offering school choice will hinder their ability to teach religion to young children and to protect children from dangerous influences.

“What good does it do to ban a book,” said AUSCS Executive Director Barry W. Lynn, “if parents can just pull their children and send them to a different school that doesn’t ban that book?”

The right-wing educational activist said that most parents prefer that their children learn basic skills in school—reading, writing, mathematics, history—and that the only way to force all children to pray or to take part in classroom devotions is if parents have no choice about where to send their children.

“This is especially true for the middle class and the poor,” said Lynn. “The rich can afford to pay extra for their education, and we’ll never be able to force them into a state-run monopoly. But the middle class, they can’t afford to pay more than what they already pay in taxes. They must send their children where the state tells them to. A voucher system would decimate our ability to preach to middle class and poor children.”

According to Lynn, the current, choiceless school system doesn’t require a presence on each school board or Parent-Teacher Association. “We can succeed by taking over the state legislature. That’s where the power lies. If we can take over the legislature, we can make the rules that schools must follow.”

Lynn warned that “there is an especially well-organized and well-funded campaign under way to undermine the synchronization of church and state in America’s public schools, the system that has produced so many successes.” He cited several example successful outcomes of state-run schools:

  • A public school teacher openly promoted creationism in science class and even used an electronic device to burn crosses onto students’ arms.
  • Public school officials led students in prayer and invited clergy into the classroom for religious devotionals.
  • A public high school featured an official student creed in its handbook which included religious affirmations.

“Do these words make you feel hopeful?” asked Lynn. “Uplifted? Even proud? Do they mean as much to you as they do to me and millions of other conservatives who believe that the synchronization of church and state is essential to our educational system? But what do you think would happen if local schools had to worry that parents could just switch their children to another school after a teacher branded their kids with crosses? America’s public schools would no longer give us a single distribution point for our religious message.”

The controversial Republican ended his plea by saying that “we need your help to stop an increasingly influential coalition of diverse leaders working to allow parental choice over where their children go to school. Their strategy is to make public schools compete for taxpayer money based on little more than what parents think is good for their children. They wish to allow the nation’s parents to choose from a diversity of views—most of which we will not approve of—when educating their children. Fortunately, gridlock in the nation’s capitol gives state-run schools some breathing room—but let’s not be complacent! Americans United for the Synchronization of Church and State needs your support to block voucher schemes that threaten our ability to slip religious and political worship into our schools.”

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