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ACLU of PA Takes Questions

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I became a regular reader of the ACLU of PA blog ever since Tammy Kitzmiller sued the Dover School District for violating the constitutionally mandated separation of church and state. Big case, nationwide attention. Not ringing a bell? How about "Intelligent Design". Oh, do I have your attention now?

They were the big guns behind the case, and provided an incredible amount of information while it was still being tried, sometimes even providing court transcripts within a day of the proceedings. They fought the good fight, and won, and we're all better off for it.

After the end of the trail but before the judge decided the case, elections were held which saw almost the entire school board replaced for their assault on science. As such, it didn't really matter how judge Jones decided the case, as the new board immediately repealed all changes to the school curriculum that the previous board had made, essentially nullifying the need for the trial in the first place. I believe however that the sweeping changes in the board would not have happened if not for the publicity and awareness that the trail bought.

The school board lost the case, and was ordered to do what it had in fact already done: go back to teaching science, and not religion. I've kept any eye on their blog ever since that case, though not with as much interest since there isn't a whole heck of a lot going on in PA these days. One of their people took questions today, and I asked what their worst loss had been. Here is there reply.

I'm sure each staff member has his or her own feelings on that one! (I've asked our lawyers - I'll let you know if they answer.)

For me, it's a case that we ended up winning eventually, but the losses up to that point were truly heartbreaking. It was the case of Amanda Kolle, a 19-year-old woman who suffered from post-partum depression after her baby was born. She asked a family friend to watch the baby while she checked into a hospital for treatment.

When she came out a week later (it might have been two weeks), her "friend" had given the baby away to a couple in another county. The judge, a friend of the couple's, terminated Amanda's parental rights without her consent and without providing her with an attorney.

Over a year later we won the case and Amanda was reunited with her son, but the damage done was incredible. Her son had no idea who she was, as the couple would not allow Amanda to visit while the case was working its way through the court system. (Visitation was eventually ordered a few months before the case was decided.) Her son was taken away from the only parents he remembered, although as he was so young, he did adjust fairly quickly.

As I said, a truly heartbreaking case.
I'm really glad that the ACLU is around to help people deal with things like this. It isn't always about religion, you know? Civil rights don't stop at the doors of a church. If you have a minute to spare, please go check out their site and say hello.
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Aug 27, 2006, 2:22:00 PM
What...the...fuck? Who the hell gives away a kid knowing the parent tried to seek HELP so the parent could be a better PARENT?!

Fuck people. Fuck them in the ear!

Charges should be brought against the person who gave the child away, and the I dont know what should be done about him/her but still.. that's stupid.

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The text of this article is Copyright © 2006,2007 Paul William Tenny. All rights reserved. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Attribution by: full name and original URL. Comments are copyrighted by their authors and are not subject to the Creative Commons license of the article itself.