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School Reverses Ban on 'Jesus' Talent Show Song

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By Lawrence D. Jones, Christian Post Reporter
February 4, 2011|6:53 am

An elementary school in Southern California that originally prohibited a fifth-grader from performing to a Christian rock song at his school's talent show because the song mentioned "Jesus" too many times has reversed its decision.

"The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is very pleased that all parties, the District, the PTA, and the legal representatives for the student were able to resolve the situation and come to an agreement so that the PTA program at Superior Elementary School can continue as planned on Friday with full participation by this student," said Superintendent Ramon C. Cortines in a statement saying that both parties have reached an agreement in the matter.

The boy will get a chance to perform to "We Shine," which references Jesus about half a dozen times, at his school's talent show Friday.

Parents of a fifth-grader at Superior Elementary School had filed a lawsuit against the school district, contending that the school violated their son's First Amendment rights when they told him that he couldn't dance to Fee band's "We Shine."

Attorneys with Alliance Defense Fund represented the parents in a temporary restraining order and a lawsuit against the district.

"Christian students shouldn’t be censored at public elementary schools because district officials think that religious speech may be offensive, which isn’t justified by the Constitution," commented ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman.

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"The LAUSD did the right thing by recognizing the student’s constitutional rights and lifting its censorship of religious speech at the talent show."

According to the lawsuit, his parents claimed that the school principal Jerilyn Schubert called the song "offensive" and asked if the boy could "pick a song that does not say 'Jesus' so many times" following his January audition.

Meanwhile, school officials had approved the following songs for the show: “Freak the Freak Out,” “Shake It Up,” and “Eye of the Tiger,” with lyrics stating that “we kill with the skill to survive.”

Schubert said it was actually the PTA's decision.

"They were just trying to follow the policy that they believed were part of the PTA," she told myFOXla.com.

"We Shine" is a single from Fee's first major label album of the same title which was released Sept 2007.

One part of the song's chorus reads: "We are the redeemed; We are the ones who are free; And we belong to Jesus; We are now alive; And in this world we will shine; Cause we belong to Jesus."

 

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