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Friday, Sep 19, 2014

Kindergartener Allowed to Perform Christian Song at School Talent Show After Lawyers Intervene

  • (Photo: Youtube.com)
    Six-year-old Austin Stroberg performing 'Our God is Mercy' in a video published May 20, 2013.
May 28, 2013|12:30 pm

A 6-year old California boy was allowed to perform a Christian song at his school's talent show last week after a legal group stepped up in his defense.

"We were extremely pleased, we're glad the district was so quick to respond," said Amanda Stroberg, the boy's mother, after the Salt Creek Elementary School in Chula Vista, Calif., decided to reverse its decision, according to ABC 10 News.

The kindergartener, Austin Stroberg, had been practicing on his acoustic guitar to perform the song "Our God Is Mercy" by Christian worship leader Brenton Brown at his school's talent show, but was initially told by school officials that he would not be allowed to sing on stage with a religious song.

"The judges really liked him and are agreeing to have him in the show so long as it's a non-religious song. Star-Spangled Banner or any other song that is non-religious," Amanda Stroberg shared of an email sent to her by the school.

The mother decided to stand up for her son's right to sing the Christian song, and contacted a law group, the Pacific Justice Institute, which took up the family's case and sent a letter to Salt Creek Elementary School's principal.

"We at the Pacific Justice Institute are very disappointed to have learned that the Chula Vista School District decided to engage in such unconstitutional censorship of this young boy in kindergarten who simply wanted to play a Christian song on his guitar," said Brad Dacus, PJI president, according to One News Now.

"The Constitution clearly protects students from being silenced and censored simply because of the religious nature of their speech – or in this case, the religious nature of their song."

The law group's letter apparently pointed out that since the school allows students to sing songs from other faiths, such as Jewish and Knwanza songs, banning a Christian song could be seen as a violation of equal protection under the law.

Not long after the letter, the school administration decided to change its mind, and Austin was added to the talent show's lineup, though the school clarified that it did not endorse or support the young boy's choice of song.

"Unfortunately, but it seems like a sign of the times," Stroberg said about the need to reach out to a lawyer to resolve such an issue.

On its part, Chula Vista Elementary School District insisted that the parents could have simply spoken to the district directly rather than reaching out to a law group.

"They simply could have contacted the district office with their concern, really doesn't take an attorney to resolve things amicably," said Anthony Millican, spokesman for Chula Vista Elementary School District.

The lyrics for "Our God Is Mercy" read:

The kingdom of our God is near
Lift your eyes, lift your eyes
The hope of heaven's drawing near
Lift your eyes, lift your eyes
You're blessed if you've been torn apart
You're blessed if you've a broken heart
'Cause hope is waiting at the door
Salvation's near

Source URL : http://www.christianpost.com/news/kindergartener-allowed-to-perform-christian-song-at-school-talent-show-after-lawyers-intervene-96772/