Student suspended for saying "God Bless"

Feb. 12, 2004, midnight | By Danielle Foster | 18 years, 9 months ago

School admistration declares the statement inappropriate

Information gathered from the Student Press Law Center

A high school broadcaster was suspended from a school news show for one month because he ended a show with "God bless."

Senior James Lord of Dupo High School in Illinois closed the last show of "Tiger's Eye News" before winter break with "Have a safe and happy holiday and God bless."

Principal Jonathon Heerboth believes the statement was inappropriate for a public school. "We can't allow one person to use school time to express any personal religious beliefs. We're not going to turn loose our school forum," said Heerboth to the Northwest Indiana News.

Lord felt the suspension was unconstitutional and contacted the American Center for Law and Justice. The center's senior counsel, Francis Manion, said "[I] didn't know whether to laugh or cry," upon hearing of Lord's suspension. "There are lots of real problems [in schools]. I can't believe a kid saying God bless could be one of them," he continued.

The Dupo School Board immediately voted to reinstate Lord to "Tiger's Eye News" at their Jan. 27 meeting.

There is no guarantee that Lord won't say "God bless" again. "I'm not threatening to say it again once I get back on the air," said Lord. "But there's Easter, or if there is another national tragedy like 9/11, or if there is a student death, it could be appropriate."

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Danielle Foster. Danielle is a senior and all she can say is "it's about time". Now 17, driving, and close to completing the Communication Arts Program, she is ready to graduate on June second. This is her last year at Blair though, and she plans to make … More »

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