Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Principal apologizes for reading 'School Prayer' poem | ajc.com

"The principal of Cedar Shoals High School in Athens, Ga., apologized Monday for reading a poem called 'The New School Prayer' over the school's intercom, which brought complaints from some parents who said it violated the principle of separation of church and state.

Tommy Craft said he wanted not to promote religion but to provoke thought and discussion among students about the changing political climate in school when he read the poem the Tuesday before the Thanksgiving break."

Poem read by Cedar Shoals principal

Associated Press
Published on: 11/30/04

Here is a version of "The New School Prayer," which was read over the Cedar Shoals High School intercom last week by principal Tommy Craft, who apologized Monday:

The Poem

Now I sit me down in school

Where praying is against the rule

For this great nation under God

Finds mention of Him very odd.

If Scripture now the class recites,

It violates the Bill of Rights.

And anytime my head I bow

Becomes a Federal matter now.

Our hair can be purple, orange or green,

That's no offense; it's a freedom scene.

The law is specific, the law is precise.

Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice.

For praying in a public hall

Might offend someone with no faith at all.

In silence alone we must meditate,

God's name is prohibited by the state.

We're allowed to cuss and dress like freaks,

And pierce our noses, tongues and cheeks.

They've outlawed guns, but FIRST the Bible.

To quote the Good Book makes me liable.

We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen,

And the "unwed daddy," our Senior King.

It's "inappropriate" to teach right from wrong,

We're taught that such "judgments" do not belong.

We can get our condoms and birth controls,

Study witchcraft, vampires and totem poles.

But the Ten Commandments are not allowed,

No word of God must reach this crowd.

It's scary here I must confess,

When chaos reigns the school's a mess.

So, Lord, this silent plea I make:

Should I be shot, my soul please take!

The AJC polled it's readers as to the appropriateness of reading this poem to students.
830 (68.65%) felt this was appropriate
379 (31.35%) felthis was inappropriate and crossed the line between church and state

Needless to say, I am in the 68.65% who feel this is a valid subject for discussion among the persons (students) who are effected by keeping all mention of God out of our school. This poem certainly is not teaching a religion. What say you?


  1. Count me in the 68.65% too!

  2. Of course, it is good fodder for 'multicultural' discussion. But, that's not the point. Baal and Molech just don't want Jehovah spoken of at all.

  3. I'm in the 68% of those who say this is worth discussion in a high school, just not in a way that is endorsed by a principal. This is what high school newspapers are for.

    Constitutional reasoning aside, I hope he didn't discourage one of those reclusive purple-haired freshman who tend to be so difficult for teachers to reach from asking a question in Algebra. I also don't like the message it sends to the next high school girl that has just found out she is pregnant. This would be just one more reason to drop out and not get that diploma -- or worse.

    I force myself to say the following phrase outloud every day: "Choose your battles wisely. Choose your battles wisely."