Is Rising Sun High School Filled With Hate? (Part 2)

Posted by Phil Ferguson on May 17th, 2010 – 12 Comments – Posted in religion

Sometimes I just get amazed that what happens in the world.  How some people can be so mean?  Some are so filled with hate.  A few months ago I did a post about the nasty hate at Rising Sun High School.   A student wanted to have a secular group for those that don’t believe in the space daddy and other students took down all the signs.  They even started a hate group on facebook.

Club sign before…                                                                   

Club sign after….

Well…. now there is a new part to the story.  It appears that the yearbook staff and the school administrators could not find any room in the inn yearbook for NRS (Non Religious Students).  However, they did find room for this….

A full page photo of students in prayer with school staff.  

 Excerpts from page 32 of the RSHS yearbook include:
“The FCA… is an outstanding embodiment of Christian spirit.”
“Students gather together… to reflect on their on (sic) God.”
“…lesson is presented in the form of Bible readings,”
“Before closing, everyone gathers in the center of the room to join hands in prayer.”
“…the opportunity to pray with their fellow students to revel in what God has done for them.”
“Every meeting is finished by joining hands in prayer to prepare for the oncoming day.”

It’s more of what you expect from christians.  We have a full page and we talk about god all over the year book.  You non believers can Fuck Off.  You can get more details and show your support of NRS at their facebook page.

  1. Brian Curtis says:

    Thanks again for getting the word out.

  2. Dubliner says:

    Congratulations Brian for having raised a confident rational son. The world needs such people badly.

  3. Thank you Phil for the additional support and thank you all for following the story.

  4. cypressgreen says:

    Letters sent to all.

  5. Torie says:

    I am the Senior Editor of the Yearbook, and I have no religion. In fact, I went to the NRS clubs as a possible member. Unfortunately, the club fell through before our deadline and were told the club would no longer be meeting. I have posted a note on Facebook about it.
    “It’s more of what you expect from christians” – I’d like to know who you were referring to, since I am Agnostic and the advisor from the yearbook has openly stated, “I’m not religious in the slightest.”
    Please, talk to the people responsible for the creation of the yearbook before stating false facts.

  6. RSHS Parent says:

    While I appreciate the hard work of Ms. Braun and others on the RSHS yearbook staff completed, I would like to make a few comments and point out some significant inconsistencies…

    I also appreciate her excitement and attendance to the first NRS meeting. That in itself would likely reveal that she had the information required on NRS’s positions for inclusion in the yearbook.

    The “NRS club at Rising Sun High School only met three times by the end of our January”, no kidding? Its first meeting was held in mid-December! I am not a student at RSHS, but Ms. Braun indicates that 20+ student showed up for the first meeting and NRS FB records reflect that 13, 15, and 11 students respectively signed up to attend the next three meeting in January and February.

    While the numbers are low (but above the six Ms. Braun suggests), they are respectable given the fact that all posters were torn down and/or defaced during the same period. Further, in this conservative community where parents contacted the school and the local newspaper protesting with passages such as, “I guarantee you do not want a religious war taking place, as I have god on my side and you will lose”, it is little wonder some potential members avoided NRS participation. That said, the same yearbook contains 16 students in the Yearbook Club photos, 14 students in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes photos, 5 students in the Culinary photo and 12 students in the Gay/Straight Alliance (GSA) photos. GSA was begun a couple months before NRS and the caption below their photos at least made mention of some students being unavailable at the time that pictures were taken. So given equal weight for population density within and some timelines of recently organized clubs, Ms. Braun is 100% wrong.

    The true deadline (not false RSHS mandated) for yearbook club photo submission was still a couple months away when the photos of NRS were taken, but not even a small effort was applied to gather additional information, and at no time did Skyler (noted as founder on the Club homepage) suggest that the club had ceased. Worst case is that there was some disagreement among the club members, a nature occurrence of any immature organization and potentially aggravated by angry and ignorant parents. Given the descriptions of other clubs contained in the yearbook, I would also suggest that the NRS description posted in the school and online, “NRS meetings involve the discussion of various current and long-running topics with a scientific and logical view” should have sufficed for the yearbook description. With these investigative skills, I’d suggest Ms. Braun’s journalistic aspirations stop with the completion of the fine RSHS yearbook.

    I am hoping Ms. Braun can explain the next entry that she wrote… “If we were truly discriminating against anything non-religious, why would we put a Gay-Rights Group in the yearbook?” Are people that have chosen alternate life styles “nonreligious?” Or how about this one, “The GSA… tries to reach out to the school by sending out different holiday cards for the teachers…” Ms. Braun, do you believe that nonbelievers send out Christmas cards? If so, I want to wish you a belated “Merry Christmas”, and damn, I just missed sending out Easter cards!

    I assure all that I have no “threats, warnings, or anything horrible” that I would like to say, I leave that to the good Christians of this county, as that has been their displayed behavior.

    Last, I would suggest that anyone confused about free thinkers, nonbeliever, or atheist review the definition. Once complete, you will understand we are not another “religion”.

    $50K for that yearbook? Doing the quick math, year book costs were not possibly recouped by sales unless the majority of students ordered them. Does that mean my tax dollars paid for photos of children praying to their invisible gods?

    In part, I agree that the simple facts are that the yearbook club was not successful this year.
    Ignorant parents raise ignorant kids… Ignorant teachers instill ignorance in kids.

    TIGER PRIDE!

  7. Rainbow Shaw-Giaquinto says:

    Torie– Great job on the yearbook…I can’t wait to see it! I know how much personal time and effort goes into such things. You have handled this situation beautifully as a mature, young adult. You are to be admired for your honesty, patience and resiliency in spite of the undeserved backlash, especially from adults. Since I lack a full understanding of what has occurred I do not wish to comment on the story itself. However, I do have a few questions for RSHS Parent:

    Why hide behind a Username? Torie has been honest (to a fault) on her role in this situation. You have questioned her several times throughout your post…the least you could do is print your name. It would be a lot easier to potentially have an intelligent, thoughtful conversation as opposed to an online “he said/she said”.

    Many schools need and welcome volunteers. Have you contacted RSHS administration to lend your support (i.e. time, energy, and sometimes funds) to the yearbook committee? You simply could serve as the “watchdog” and make sure that all groups have been represented fairly. Maybe your son/daughter would also join…then the 2010-2011 yearbook would clearly be most impressive.

    Does being a free thinker and non-believer indicate that one should also lack manners and common courtesy (as referenced in your “investigative skills” comment and other disparaging remarks)?

    Torie- as you may continue to question religion and spirituality, one thing is certainly clear…they won’t be answered at an NRS meeting. The ignorance shown in RSHS Parent’s post is very clear. And, since ignorant parents raise ignorant kids, you certainly will not find your answers if RSHS Parent’s child is a member of this group.

    But, most importantly Torie, here’s to a job well done on your four years at RSHS. I know you will enjoy life as a college student. Continue to grow and learn from all life has to offer…cherishing the good and positively coping with the bad. Remember, if this is one of the most stressful events in your life (as well as RSHS Parent’s life) then you should both simply thank God…invisible or not!!!

  8. Torie Braun says:

    Let me ask you one thing: Has your child ever pledged allegiance to the flag? Do you give your child Christmas Presents? Do you gather with family for Easter? Do you take off from work on any holidays? If you’ve answered yes to any, well, I don’t have to say anything now do I?

    Secondly, we in the yearbook committee just received our bill for the yearbook and yes, it was about $44000 – $45000. If you don’t believe me, call up Mr. Larson and ask him yourself. I am so terribly sorry that, at the beginning of the school year when our representative from Jostens came up, he could not see into the future to get the exact calculations.

    And let me be very, very clear: Those six students I mentioned at the second meeting? Skyler, Matthew Hess, Chris Parker (the 3 founders) myself, and three other girls. So, I apologize. I meant seven students, three of whom started the group, one of which was there mainly for yearbook purposes (seeing as my other group members decided not to come) and the three girls I previously mentioned, one of whom positively REFUSED to be featured in the yearbook because she did not want her parents to find out.

    While many, many students may have signed up for these meetings on FACEBOOK, many did not make it. I know this because, well, let’s see: I WAS THERE. Common sense escaped you, didn’t it?

    The Yearbook is not a club. I have had this CLASS for second period all year. So don’t belittle us just because of our numbers. The GSA has met every week since they were created, and students who felt strongly about this did not avoid this club because of their reputation. The Culinary Team is, once again, part of a class and gained an award for the school which is why they were featured with their minimal numbers.

    I’m sorry, RSHS PARENT, but let me understand this: Though you are not a student of RSHS and you have never been in the Yearbook Class, how is it you know our deadlines? Unless you have some telekenetic powers, which I’m going to assume you don’t since I doubt any children in our school are related to Dr. Xavier or Jean Grey, I’m going to assume you don’t know when the pictures were taken. Though SKYLER didn’t tell us the group was over, Chris Parker did, and the advisor told one of our members, “Well I don’t think we’re meeting anymore, but if we are it will be next week.” And then they never met.

    Though the GSA is not a non-religious group, am I wrong when I say that Christians believe homosexuality is wrong and sinful? That there isn’t a website called godhatesfags.com? And as for attacking my journalism skills, let me just say this: I put everything I had into this yearbook, more than 7 spreads are mine (meaning more than 14 pages), I took many pictures within the yearbook, and I covered clubs, sports, etc. that I have never participated in whatsoever. Just because I did not feature a club that is so closely tied to yourself, do not act like you know about my journalism skills.

    including $300+. As for making a page out of one sentence and three pictures of the same 3 boys and their teacher, I’m sorry that none of us wanted to waste precious space on something that could be used for a very community and school-based page.

    Also, I’d like you to know that, after reading the ACLU website on the separation of school and religion, every single thing on the NRS page is wrong. If I wanted to, I could pray before a test and before my meal and as soon as I walked into class, so long as I was not disturbing the classroom. In fact, three friends and I could do it, as long as the time served right. What you are doing is a violation of their right to religious freedom.

    http://www.aclu.org/religion-belief/establishment-clause-and-schools-legal-bulletin

    http://www.aclu.org/religion-belief/joint-statement-current-law-religion-public-schools

    Honestly, I feel such pity for people like you. That you have to fight and argue with 18-year-olds to make yourself feel better. You should be teaching your child tolerance and acceptance rather than “You’re a dumbass for believing in an invisible God!” By doing this, you are no better than the Bible-thumping Christians you so obviously loathe.

  9. RSHS Parent says:

    With all due respect, thank god….

  10. Rainbow Shaw-Giaquinto says:

    I don’t care if it’s God or god…to each his own. That has nothing to do with my post. Quite frankly, I am all for anyone or any group who would like to exercise their beliefs, regardless of religious affiliation. Lord, or in your case, lord knows I have many family members of all generations who fought for this basic right.

    My only concern is the way in which you try to embarrass and degrade Torie in your post. She has publicly apologized and admitted that the yearbook staff made a mistake. However, all blame should not fall on Torie. As a parent, it is you who should be embarrassed by your anonymous posts and your inability to exercise restraint in matters that should be heard by an advisor or member of administration. Good luck at the meeting with the Board…please introduce yourself to Torie when you see her.

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