Support a Released Time Policy for Newton County Students!

Support a Released Time Policy for Newton County Students!

September 18, 2023
Petition to
Newton County Board of Education Newton County Board of Education and 1 other
Signatures: 343Next Goal: 500
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Why this petition matters

Started by Rene Seals

As a concerned parent and advocate for quality education in Newton County, I am writing this petition to urge the Newton County Board of Education to adopt Released Time Policy. This initiative would allow students to receive religious instruction during the school day, providing them with a well-rounded education that respects their constitutional rights.

Personal Story:
I am a mother of a student attending the Newton Christian Learning Center (CLC), and I have witnessed firsthand the positive impact of religious education on my child's development. However, due to scheduling conflicts between extracurricular activities and CLC classes held after school hours, my child often faces difficult choices. It breaks my heart to see him torn between his passion for extracurricular activities and his desire to deepen his understanding of Christianity.

A Released Time Policy offers an ideal solution by allowing students like mine to continue their religious education during regular school hours. This program would ensure that our children do not have to sacrifice extracurricular activities or miss out on valuable learning opportunities.

Reasons for Supporting a Released Time Policy:

1. Constitutional Guidelines: The Supreme Court has recognized that Released Time programs can be implemented within constitutional boundaries when certain guidelines are followed (Zorach v. Clauson). By adhering strictly to these guidelines, we can ensure that students' rights are respected while providing them with access to religious instruction.

2. Academic Benefits: Numerous studies have shown that students who participate in religious education programs demonstrate improved academic performance, increased moral development, enhanced character traits, and better social skills (source: National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools).

3. Parental Choice: Adopting a Released Time Policy allows parents like me the freedom to choose how our children receive religious instruction without burdening public schools with additional responsibilities or costs.

4. Community Support: A survey conducted by Gallup indicates that 76% of Americans believe it is important for children in public schools to receive religious education (source: Gallup, 2019). By implementing a Released Time Policy, the Newton County Board of Education would align with the desires of a significant majority of our community.

5. Successful Implementation in Other Districts: Released Time programs have been successfully implemented in various school districts across the United States. These programs have demonstrated their ability to coexist harmoniously with public education systems while respecting students' constitutional rights.

Major Points to remember:

1.  Classes are to be held off campus.

2.  There must be written permission from the child's parent or guardian.

3. The Released Time program must be operated by religious groups.

4.  Attendance must be reported to the public school.

5.  School personnel cannot promote/hinder religious education.  They must remain neutral.

6.  Student recruitment for the Released Time program is the total responsibility of the religious organization.

7.  The Religious organization assumes all liability when students leave school property for the program.

8.  School officials have no part in teacher selection, curriculum, or doctrinal content of the program.

9.  NO tax dollars will be used.  

10.  Students will be transported to an off-site location near each school in a transit owned by the religious organization, 

By signing this petition, we are urging the Newton County Board of Education to prioritize the well-being and educational needs of our students by adopting Released Time Education. Let us ensure that all children in Newton County have access to a comprehensive education that respects their constitutional rights and allows them to grow academically, morally, and spiritually.

Together, let's support Released Time Education for Newton County students!

Thank you for your support!

Rene' Seals, Parent of Current Newton CLC Student

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Signatures: 343Next Goal: 500
Support now

Decision Makers

  • Newton County Board of EducationNewton County Board of Education
  • Superintendent of Newton County School SystemNewton County School System