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John Fischer’s Hate Speech

| February 10, 2013

Flagler County School Board member John Fischer fights 'hate' with hate. (© FlaglerLive)

Flagler County School Board member John Fischer fights ‘hate’ with hate. (© FlaglerLive)

Last year the Florida Legislature passed a bill that allowed returning outright prayer to public schools. Not a moment of silence, not the gathering around the flagpole on the National Day of Prayer, but the bona fide right of students to lead other students in prayer at any assembly, even mandatory ones. School officials are prohibited from interfering, or even judging whether the prayer in question is appropriate. Theoretically, a prayer could invoke the Holy Trinity in every line, making it explicitly Christian. It could also invoke Wiccan paganism, though given Florida’s more Christian-theocratic mania these days, we know well what sort of hosannas would prevail.

pierre tristam column flaglerlive.com flaglerlive One caveat: the law does require local school boards to pass resolutions enacting the allowance first. It’s a constitutionally problematic law in many regards. Beside the outright violation of the First Amendment—public schools, as government entities, would be endorsing religion whether a prayer is student-led or not, since students are acting under authority of their school—prayer of any sort at student assemblies would be a coercive end-run around at least some students’ right to be left alone. It’s a bigger problem if school boards must enact a resolution to enable student prayer, because it certifies that prayer is made possible at the will of the board. Government boards should never be that lordly, especially not to arbitrate First Amendment protections.

Not surprisingly, not a single one of Florida’s 67 school boards enacted such a resolution. They’ve followed the state School Board Association’s advice: leave well enough alone. It’s not worth the legal muck that could be triggered by one extremist invocation too many.

That enlightened streak may be about to end.

For the last two meetings of the Flagler County School Board, member John Fischer has implored his colleagues to seize on the state law and return prayer to schools. He’s done so through two fuming, bizarre, somewhat incoherent speeches dripping with resentment even as he was calling for everyone to “get along.” The first time he spoke only as “his opinion.” The second, it got serious: he was asking for a policy change.

Both times he laced his overheated proposal in a double-bladed call to unity while attacking “political correctness” and “special interests” for keeping prayer out of schools. “You know, there’s just hate,” Fischer said, uttering the word no less than five times in his first speech, without providing a single example of the “hate” he spoke of, even though he said he’d seen it in the school board’s own meeting chambers. Then he made that leap to an assumed link between the “hate” and the absence of prayer in school.

I’ve covered most local government meetings for the past three years, including the school board’s. I’ve seen a few tense meetings, a few displays of people power through forceful opposition to certain issues, but nothing beyond the sort of earnest, democratic engagement we should be glad for, and proud of. Hate? Not once, especially not under the chairmanships of Sue Dickinson and Andy Dance (or, for that matter, that of Jane Mealy in Flagler Beach, Barbara Revels, Alan Peterson and Nate McLaughlin at the county, or the mayorships of Jon Netts in Palm Coast and Catherine Robinson in Bunnell). Unions asking for fair treatment, residents angered over taxes or fees, parents torn up about uniforms or the closure of a charter schools—that’s not hate. It’s citizens making their voices heard to their representative government.

Fischer’s allegation smells of baseless claims people in power sometimes make because they know they’ll be heard, and because they know they often won’t be held to account. It’s a casual, common form of abuse of authority. To use Fischer’s own descriptive characterization of that alleged “hate” he sees in the school board chambers, “it’s disgusting.” But it shouldn’t be the springboard to policy.

It’s difficult to make sense of Fischer’s speeches, which ramble and mangle in the literal sense of the term. Here’s a sample from the first speech: “You know there’s just hate. Why can’t we get along? Don’t be afraid of the political correctness. Don’t be afraid of all the activist groups. Don’t be afraid of all these people’s hate, and spread hate. Where’s our rights? Why don’t we start—cause I talked to a lot of people, and listen to a lot of people, and they feel the same way, but I think maybe people are afraid to say something because they’re afraid of the political correctness. Well, is it—I’m very proud of being Catholic, and an American, and my country, my flag, and I’m very proud to say that whatever it takes, I’m not going to be on a soapbox, but I think we should give that consideration, to maybe having prayer in schools, at our meetings…”

In his second speech, he began by reading from a quite moving piece by the Observer’s Brian McMillan, about the Pledge of Allegiance (and missing its point entirely), though he managed to mangle even McMillan’s words several times, before launching again on a tirade about how “our country has too many of these uh, self-satisfying political groups and special interest groups, and political correctness,” and therefore—his inexplicable logic—the need to bring prayer back in school. (You can read the two full speeches below.)

Fischer’s call for prayer wasn’t originating from a place of charity or good will, but of bitterness. Even as he called for comity, he was doing so by projecting an imaginary us-versus-them divide he did not define beyond those who pray to a Christian god, and those who don’t. That made Fischer—not the vague “self-satisfying groups” he was attacking—sound hateful. I was reminded of Jerry Falwell’s revolting statement after the attack of 9/11, when the late evangelical bigot said: “I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say ‘you helped this happen.’” At least Falwell apologized.

Fischer doubled down. His criticism of “special interests” and “political correctness” is ironic (to not say insulting), considering what that correctness has enabled in public schools: racial integration, equality for girls in school athletics, equality for students with special needs, anti-bullying campaigns, respect for students of all creeds and lifestyles, whether atheist, Catholic, gay, Wiccan or undefined. “Where’s our rights,” John? Those are our rights.


Would you care, John, to be more specific in your attacks on “special interests,” so we can really know whether there is an issue worth addressing? What “special interest” groups are you complaining about? Unions? Civil liberties groups? The NAACP? Our own Merrill Shapiro’s Americans United for the Separation of Church and State? The National Organization for Women? Or is this just your own resentments couched in the language of imaginary persecutions and victimhood?

One of the great and enduring successes of the American public school, all academic hand-wringing aside, is its admirable reflection of principles of equal opportunity, fairness and respect for all. Few other institutions, including private and charter schools, can make that claim. Schools’ balancing of public and private religious rights is among those successes. Why jeopardize it?

And if it’s the absence of prayer from schools Fischer is bemoaning, He is flatly wrong on that count, too. Even before last year’s resurrection of school prayer, Florida wasn’t quite the atheist-godless-communist redoubt its mullahs would make you believe it was. Public schools could and still may provide up to two minutes of silence at the beginning of every day for prayer or meditation. (Schools are loath to do that only because their hours have been slashed as it is, to save money, so further reducing instructional time wouldn’t be wise.) Students can pray at any time of their choosing, anywhere they please, even in groups, as long as it doesn’t interfere with school activities. Florida law also requires the Department of Education to distribute explicit guidelines on “Religious Expression in Public Schools” to every school board member, superintendent, principal and teacher in every school, making students’ rights to pray very clear.

Then came last year’s curveball of a prayer law. School boards have sensibly held their bats. Let us pray the Flagler County School Board continues to resist the call to prayer, John Fischer’s veiled, angry nostalgia for a more unequal past notwithstanding.

Pierre Tristam is FlaglerLive’s editor. Reach him by email here. This column is also syndicated through Florida Voices.

John Fischer’s first speech to the school board, Jan. 22:

“Reflecting again as I said in the last meeting as far as, you know, these tragedies that’s been happening at Columbine, 9/11, and at the, you know, Aurora, and Connecticut, and, Sandy the storm, all these tragedies are happening and as we talked earlier about the gun violence and the ammunition and the videos and the Hollywood and, but, a lot of these things—also the SROs—but just listening to, you know, yesterday even, the inauguration and Martin Luther King, is the swearing in and the benediction, and you know, invocations, and ‘we are one.’ You know, I think that our society has lost—and I really don’t think they’ve lost it, I don’t think that maybe they’re afraid to project it or be proud of it, but it’s prayer, and our flag, and our country, and I think with this political correctness in this world we have now, there’s just so much hate, and I think that—and this is my opinion, it’s not the board, this is for me—most people believe in god, country and flag. Whatever faith that you are. We’re all god’s children, and when people want something, many pray for help, whether it be family, sickness, surgery, job, financial, losing home, affording college, after something happens, everyone comes together. You know, there’s not a divide. Why can’t we all be all one at time. Why can’t we listen and communicate with those, we can all do the best and right thing for all of us. Just as Mr. Dance has mentioned before I believe it was as far as, look at the problems we’re having in our Congress. You know there’s just hate. Why can’t we get along? Don’t be afraid of the political correctness. Don’t be afraid of all the activist groups. Don’t be afraid of all these people’s hate, and spread hate. Where’s our rights? Why don’t we start—cause I talked to a lot of people, and listen to a lot of people, and they feel the same way, but I think maybe people are afraid to say something because they’re afraid of the political correctness. Well, is it—I’m very proud of being Catholic, and an American, and my country, my flag, and I’m very proud to say that whatever it takes, I’m not going to be on a soapbox, but I think we should give that consideration, to maybe having prayer in schools, at our meetings, and like you saw yesterday, the swearing in, the inauguration, the invocations. You have it at NASCAR. You know, why can’t we bring back family values, bring the character that we’re known for instead of all this hate. And there’s just so, even in this chamber I see people with hate, and It’s just, it’s disgusting. But I think that we have love in us, if we can project that from our hearts, and—thank you.”

John Fischer’s second speech to the school board, Feb. 5:

“Ms. Conklin [Flagler County School Board Colleen Conklin] I want to thank you for the power of one, I have some recommendations for upcoming situations. And if we look at the power of one, actually what does that mean? Can we put that as far as, will we as a nation be the power of one? Can we be united in god and country? I just spoke to Mr. Alter earlier in the evening here, and, uh, if you have a chance, maybe for future consideration, if you look at the state bill 98, about prayer in schools and different situations, um, so if you can read that over and maybe in a few we could do a workshop on that, speaking to Mr. Alter what he thinks about it, you know our country has too many of these uh, self-satisfying political groups and special interest groups, and political correctness. When are we in fact going to stand up? There’s an awful lot of people that really feel in strength that we believe in our country and god, and if in fact we don’t stand up. We’re going to lose what we have. So I would think and I would consider, you know, prayer in the schools, and also, is that maybe we could talk about it in the future here coming up as far as even prayer before our meetings as they do like in Congress and at different local—there’s no other county in Florida that has even talked about or, you know, did anything about prayer in schools, but maybe we can revitalize and be a pro-active versus reactive. Thank you.”

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86 Responses for “John Fischer’s Hate Speech”

  1. Ryan McDermott says:

    Separation of Church and State. There is a reason for it.

    I hope prayer is not forced into the system.

  2. You go John says:

    I am a Christian and am all for prayer-any time-any place! This world used to be a lot better off before God was removed in so many places. In God WE Trust!!!!!!!!

    • Linda says:

      When prayer was in the schools, our country was a country of segregation, gender discrimination, McCarthyism, lynchings, low pay and lack of opportunities for women. . .I could go on and on. The idea that the lack of prayer or God in the schools is the reason for whatever one perceives our current ailments and flaws are simply defies all logic and ignores our history.
      For all the so-called Constitutionalists screaming to protect the 2nd amendment rights, please think about putting that same energy into protecting our 1st amendment rights.

    • NortonSmitty says:

      If your God can be removed from all these places by bureaucrats and Government regulations, tell me again why he is so omnipotent?

    • Samuel Smith says:

      Matthew 6:5-8:“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”

      Interesting how hippies, vietnam, and general godlessness has peaked since they added “in God we trust” to our currency in the mid-50′s. The war to add prayer back into school has ushered a huge number of school shootings, and maybe this is punishment from God because of the ill-conceived belief that public prayer is supported by scripture.

    • elaygee says:

      The world may have been a better place for you but your coreligionists made life a living hell for everyone else, torturing, killing and “converting” anyone who dared to believe anything different.

  3. christina b says:

    Thank you! These “feel good” measures do nothing other than pit us against each other. Mr. Fischer, stop using your power to divide us. Just stop it. No one is forcing you to abandon YOUR God–and you have no absolute right to force it on others.

  4. A.S.F says:

    You’d think this guy has enough to concern himself with in his own home and on his own plate without trying to direct other peoples’ beliefs and moral conduct!

  5. michelle says:

    I am proud of being a Catholic, of being an American, of my country and of my flag (my father, mother and brothers were in the service and I’m proud of all off them), and I’m not going to get on a soapbox—— but as a teacher I have to respect my students and their beliefs.
    I pray before school, during the joys and unhappiness of my students, and when I am home afterwards. I pray with my own children and with my husband. If a student asks about my beliefs, I tell him or her. BUT praying is personal – it’s between me and my God. I don’t need a school board ruling. And neither does a child. Trust me, a lot of them pray before a test, before going into a crowded lunchroom with the kid who bullies them, before the ‘big’ game, etc…
    John, get a grip and take care of your own house before you play in ours.

  6. Anonymous says:

    No one can “remove” God from anywhere. Silly to think so. God Is, therefore prayer is in the heart and mind and soul of the individual, between the person and their God. The Bible never said people are supposed to pray aloud as a group, but implies prayer is communion one on one with God. Otherwise we may look like the Pharasees in sackcloth and ashes, praying aloud in the streets,lol.

  7. Kip Durocher says:

    The election of this man was a huge mistake in the first place. He really is not qualified at all to be on any board of local governance due to his lack of intellect and ability to clearly and articulately express his thoughts. Then there is the problem with these thoughts which are divisive, narrow minded, and stem from his biases with absolutely no respect or regard for the rights and beliefs of others. I would agree with Pierre ~ this man is closer to hate speech than anything I have heard from any board member of any governing body in Flagler County in the 25 years I have lived here and followed local events. Unchecked petty demagogues like this man always end up causing more disharmony and ill-feelings than any sense of community.
    My hope is that he will be nothing more than a one term blunder. This is something the whole county needs to work to achieve.

  8. Ron says:

    Seems like Fischer’s kinda’ going off the deep end.

    Time to step down maybe??

  9. Nancy N. says:

    Mr Fischer’s rambling incoherence makes me wonder if he needs to step aside to take care of his personal issues. Having dealt with an remarkably similar family situation myself, I can attest to the unbearable pressure and stress – and I’m barely half the age of the Fischers and not a public figure in the way Mr Fischer is, which both add to the pressure and make it harder to carry.

    I suspect from personal experience that his rants about “hate” in the world are not really about the schools and are really about his wife’s legal situation.

    And one thing that I can assure the school board about: should they opt to actually act on Mr Fischer’s hateful ramblings, I will be first in line to volunteer to request the ACLU to sue the school board on my daughter’s behalf. I won’t think twice before making that phone call, and you know based on previous action on this issue on their part that they will be happy to take the case. So FCSB, save yourself the trouble – and the legal fees. Mr Fischer has a history of shoving his pet projects and personal views down the throats of parents in this district. I couldn’t do anything about the school uniforms but I will not roll over and play dead and let him shred the Constitution.

  10. Ben Dover says:

    Well in Johns defense ,the media has shown him a lot of hate , yes his wife was involved in a very sad accident, but the newspapers attacked him , every time they mentioned what happened with his wife , they had to make sure they said wife of School board member John Fischer, like he was responsible for her actions, it was a deliberate slam against him every time the News journal wrote a story which was just about every other day for over a year, just because they listened to their attorney and told the Journal no comment they attacked John day in and day out , if I were him I`d be suing the News Journal, so yeah Johns experienced a lot of hate the last year and a half, he`s been punished for something he had no control over and played no part in and the News journal ought to be ashamed of themselves

  11. K says:

    Funny that a guy who’s wife allegedly ran over an innocent woman and went home while leaving her to die on the side of the road is trying to be a moral beacon.

  12. confidential says:

    Totally agree with Michelle. For a school Board Member setting examples there are too many “you know’s” in Mr. Fisher rhetoric, as well as too many unanswered questions regarding his phone calls to the former Sheriff. Time for change.

  13. Palm Coast Resident says:

    Sure would be nice to have some prayer in school. I had it when I went to school…and I don’t think it hurt at all. It taught me to “believe”. Now the kids don’t know who to “Believe” in, no matter what religion they follow. Some kids don’t even know what a Bible is, or that there are several “Books” or beliefs of religion. But, it is not just in school they should pray, parents should teach prayer in the home. Now there’s a subject that never gets discussed……Prayer at home….

    Mr. Fischer should be congradulated for bringing prayer up for discussion with the School Board. It’s long overdue. No matter what religion! Thank You Sir.

    I’m also Catholic and I believe in prayer.

  14. Gia says:

    Kids are going to schools to learn not to be brainwashed by ignorance propaganda & stupidity. Why do you think we have so many dumb & idiots on the streets ? One think they excel is text messaging.

  15. John Boy says:

    John, pray for your wife. You should have prayed before your wife got behind the wheel of her car and killed an innocent person. Trying to cover it up with prayers didn’t work either. Just love his holier than thou attitude, what a hypocrite. One term John, the public has seen through your BS.

  16. bq says:

    When is his term up? He needs to go quietly!

  17. tulip says:

    Reply to ASF—-Well said! Under the circumstances, Fischer has no business coming on with the holier than though attitude and insist on prayer and whatever else he rambles about. Maybe he better pray hard about his wife’s upcoming trial and stop preaching to the school board and any one else who will listen.

    Instead of prayer, or in addition to prayer in school, why not take a minute and give the kids a “kind thought of the day” moment about helping and respecting other human beings. . No religion can argue with that, and eventually some of it might sink in to the kids brains.

  18. Lin says:

    I too believe that prayer is private and belongs at home.

    But I have also seen an assault on our constitutional rights. It is Freedom of Religion, not Freedom From Religion. Believing is now politically incorrect. I don’t think having silence in schools for a few minutes would hurt anyone. I think MY rights are being abridged.

    John Fischer is another matter.

    • ThinkAboutIt says:

      I don’t understand how someone’s rights are being taken away by mandating state-sponsored organizations be neutral zones with regards to religion. Public schools are state-sponsored. I don’t think some of you are looking at this with a objective perspective. Students are already free to pray whenever they want, together or individually. Teachers are not supposed to lead students in prayer or pray over the students because that shows support of one faith over the others, and sets it as ‘the norm’ while all students who are not of that faith are sidelined and are forced to use time that could be spent learning listening to something that doesn’t apply to their education. This should also apply to mandatory (i.e. school sponsored) student-led assemblies. If you can’t imagine why someone would feel uncomfortable, imagine a student is a Satanist. She is a great student, and popular but her parents just happen to believe that Satan is the true god, and as a child who loves are respects her parents, she has adopted their beliefs as her own. Imagine she is voted student president and while leading an assembly she decides to pray for Satan to smile on each student and bless them to do well on their exams or football game or find successful jobs after they graduate. How would this make the Christian students feel? Can you fathom that maybe it would make them feel uncomfortable or unwelcome? I know it would have made me feel really weird, especially if the majority of students around me were raised to be Satanists. This is why religious beliefs should be avoided in public schools, save for anthropological context and should be left to the family and/or religious institutions to impart. One time I actually had a teacher tell me there is no god. I felt really uncomfortable, at the mercy of this powerful adult telling me my parents are wrong. I almost cried. Students have enough to focus on at school. Now if this is a private school and the parents have decided it is necessary for their children to have morning prayers in school, that is their business, but why would you want your children to sit through spiritual activities that don’t apply to your faith and may even go against your family’s faith? It hardly seems constructive. This is what Sunday School is for people.

  19. Will says:

    I’d ask the electorate to think back. Atty Raven Sword was the other candidate when Mr. Fischer was elected. She’s young, bright, has kids in the school system, and is a VERY good attorney. I just couldn’t see her inviting lawsuits from ACLU, Americans United, and others.

    I have no idea whether she would want to run again, but I wish she had won last time around.

  20. Whodat says:

    Mr. Fischer:

    I am praying for your wife in the privacy of my home and would never inside a school.

    http://www.scrollpublishing.com/store/Abingdon-School-District.html

    U.S. Supreme Court ABINGTON SCHOOL DIST. v. SCHEMPP, 374 U.S. 203 (1963) 374 U.S. 203

    SCHOOL DISTRICT OF ABINGTON TOWNSHIP, PENNSYLVANIA, ET AL. v. SCHEMPP ET AL. APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA. No. 142. Argued February 27-28, 1963. Decided June 17, 1963.*
    [Footnote *] Together with No. 119, Murray et al. v. Curlett et al., Constituting the Board of School Commissioners of Baltimore City, on certiorari to the Court of Appeals of Maryland, argued February 27, 1963.
    Because of the prohibition of the First Amendment against the enactment by Congress of any law “respecting an establishment of religion,” which is made applicable to the States by the Fourteenth Amendment, no state law or school board may require that passages from the Bible be read or that the Lord’s Prayer be recited in the public schools of a State at the beginning of each school day – even if individual students may be excused from attending or participating in such exercises upon written request of their parents. Pp. 205-227.

    Page 374 U.S. 203, 230

    Such contributions may not be made by the State even in a minor degree without violating the Establishment Clause. It is not the amount of public funds expended; as this case illustrates, it is the use to which public funds are put that is controlling. For the First Amendment does not say that some forms of establishment are allowed; it says that “no law respecting an establishment of religion” shall be made. What may not be done directly may not be done indirectly lest the Establishment Clause become a mockery.

  21. Colleen Conklin says:

    Please stop being so cruel. Mr. Fischer may not always explain his view point in the most eloquent way and I may not always agree with him on various issues. However, I truly believe Mr. Fischer only wants the best for the district and takes great time and care in his work as a school board member. He is an older gentleman who was elected by the majority of voters here. If you disagree with his view point please share that with him but do we really need to be so disrespectful and ugly about it. He is only human. He is a strong man of faith and he is only sharing his opinion and concern. I don’t think anyone can imagine what he is thinking or feeling in regards to the situation with his wife and the loss of life but please don’t assume the worst of him. I apologize in advance and realize it may be wrong for me to post on this issue but some of this rhetoric is exactly what I think he was talking about.

    • standup says:

      Thank you Colleen for having the guts to post this. Mr. Fischer works hard as a board member… he visits our schools and our employees, our mentors, and various community partners on a daily basis. He is truly interested in knowing what we do and who we are. He is genuinely concerned for our students and tries his best to think of ways to improve our school district. Yes, in his PRIVATE life, he is going through trials and tribulations, but that does not mean he should be attacked for having an opinion; whether we agree with it or not.

    • RNYPD says:

      That was brave and heart felt. How did you get elected here?

  22. Ralph Belcher says:

    I strongly feel that Fischer is trying to paint himself as a moral beacon with the gravely serious charges his spouse is facing… and trying to do it in (semi-) public. Be that what it may.

    Even more strongly than that, I admonish the Flagler County voters for rallying to vote this…. person into office. There was a worthy, smart, articulate, and coherent opponent – Raven Sword… Flagler, you missed the short bus on this choice. (But — who really knew?)

    We wouldn’t have such shame to deal with if she was on the School Board. I seen the writing on the wall when he would (figuratively) stamp his feet like an elementary kid on a school playground wanting school uniforms… then everyone else, from what it seems from casual observation, did all the footwork to make it happen. You could see the akwardness on the board when this was approached. John, are all these maladies you spoke of resolved in our schools as a result of the uniforms? We’re waiting to hear your assessment.

    Just quieltly go about your business. Leave Flagler County, and it’s students, and citizens alone, sir.

    Not hating, but just being critical. We have expectations of our elected officials. Stand and deliver.

  23. Claire Voyant says:

    I wonder how he feels about hit-and-run accidents.

  24. Pierre Tristam says:

    Colleen, let’s not confuse the issue, or make exaggerated—or false—claims. That Fischer is an “older gentleman” doesn’t absolve him of the responsibility to be thoughtful and coherent. He’s not a county commissioner or a city council member, where relatively proper English is not necessarily part of the job. He’s a school board member, one-fifth responsible for the realization of that “premier learning organization” logo of yours. When a school board member is incoherent, I’m sorry, but that’s beyond embarrassing: it’s a serious problem, the more so because it reflects the willing and enabling ignorance of those who elected him. This issue highlights that problem in several regards. It has nothing, absolutely nothing to do with the mission of a school board member, nor with your responsibilities as board members to get us where we need to be academically. Fischer may well be doing some of his work with care. In this case, he’s not wanting “the best for the district.” He’s being ideologically obtuse about an issue 66 other counties have seen clearly enough to leave alone, particularly when 67 counties have better things to do than debate prayer in schools. He was not just sharing his opinion and concerns. He is looking to have a workshop and change local policy. That’s serious business, business we’ll presumably be dealing with in the near future unless the rest of the board steers clear of it, so let’s not be diverting that point under the rather condescending guise of his being “an older gentleman.” If age is an issue, then maybe he should take his Pope Benedict’s example and realize that “both strength of mind and body are necessary” to do the job, and resign.

    As for the alleged hate in some of these comments: perhaps you, too, should be more specific, because I don’t see it. Criticism is not hate. Holding a man to account for his words is not hate. But you may be correct in one regard, in that what we’re seeing from Fischer to some extent is his transposition and deflection of the criticism he’s endured for over a year over his wife’s alleged hit-and-run killing of Françoise Pécqueur (and John’s still-unexplained back-channeling with the sheriff), and maybe the anger over the mountain of legal bills he’s facing, so that what we’re now seeing is his reaction to it all under the plea of a call for “getting along.” Even if that’s the case, it doesn’t diminish the words he used, nor the hate he himself is guilty of: the two texts of his speeches are plain as day, fully transcribed, and much of them he’d written himself ahead of time, so these were not off-the-cuff remarks. He had thought them out. They are hateful words, they are divisive words, they are unnecessary words, but they are also disturbingly revealing of Fischer’s perspective. It is admirable of you to defend his right to speak them, as I do. It would be disturbing if you are in any way justifying the thoughts he’s projecting.

    He has every right to share his thoughts. But that does not make him immune from being accountable for them, and contending with the reaction. Being a school board member does not place you above reaction. To the contrary. And no, the words he used are not reflective of what’s in these comments: he was referring to “political correctness” and “special interest groups,” those code words for people and organizations who don’t see the world as he does, as if somehow some people and organizations are lesser Americans, less worthy of protection, less worthy of an equal say, less patriotic, than his version of a god-brandishing Christian American. If that’s not offensive, I don’t know what it.

    And he did not share these thoughts privately. He did so from his powerful, official position as a board member, publicly, broadly, and twice, so far. It is incorrect of you to characterize that as his merely sharing his opinions, since he’s obviously pushing for policy changes, and it is unjust of you to ask people to share their opinions with him privately, while he gets to spew his anger and broadsides not only publicly, but with power enough to effectuate the sort of changes that would jeopardize a delicate and hard-won balance.

  25. Stevie says:

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    The public school system in it’s present form does prohibit the free exercise of prayer or we wouldn’t be holding meetings to decide to allow the students to pray. Therefore the school system is unconstitutional and should be changed or shut it down and start over.

    I see no need to force anyone to pray or to listen to prayer, just as I see no need to force anyone not to pray. I see no reason both can not be accommodated in a free society.

    • Nancy N. says:

      “I see no need to force anyone to pray or to listen to prayer” – you really don’t get that broadcasting a prayer every morning into my daughter’s classroom is forcing her to listen to a prayer?

      • Stevie says:

        “you really don’t get that broadcasting a prayer every morning into my daughter’s classroom is forcing her to listen to a prayer? ”

        Yes I do. I lived through that era and the morning prayer broadcast in my school was un avoidable. What the country did to remedy the situation was to violate my civil rights by forbidding free exercise as I noted above.

        By it’s design the current school system violates free exercise of religion and should be changed to accommodate all form of faith and non faith equally. This would mean the decentralization of schools and a radical change.

        Remember we do live in a free society, so it should not be a problem to act freely.

        • Nancy N. says:

          Nobody’s preventing you from “free exercise” of your religion in public school, as has been noted by many other commenters here. You are perfectly free to pray quietly to yourself anytime that you want, whether you are a student or a staff member. You are only being prevented from forcing others to practice your religion along with you through public pronouncements.

  26. kip durocher says:

    Ms. Conklin,
    You post a defense of your fellow board member for his agedness, ineptitude and inability to articulate his thoughts to the public.
    Any yet you accuse others of being ”cruel.” Are we to assume you are just objective?
    You state, “…Mr. Fisher…only wants the best for the district….” I submit that what he really wants is his version of the best, not any consensus of what others feel is the best.
    And you finally bring up a legal tragedy going on in his immediate family.
    You have made a perfect case for him to step down.
    Maybe the board should have a closed meeting with the Board Attorney present and discuss this very topic with him.
    Although I admit there are some strong opinions on this thread, I do not feel that the overall consensus is “cruel” in the least. No one made him put himself up for public office. And I also submit that you were correct in your conclusions that you “realize it may be wrong for me to post on this issue.”

    • Magnolia says:

      Mr. Durocher, I think Ms. Conklin was referring to courtesy and compassion here, the same we would offer to anyone in this community, I would hope.

      Wasn’t aware there was anything in the law requiring your family to crawl under a rock and disappear when something horrible impacts the family, right or wrong. This was a tragedy of unbelievable proportions for many of us. Those of us knowing Mr. Fischer realize that something terrible happened here that he could not control. I wonder how many have offered words of comfort to him?

      While some valid points are being made, the lack of compassion here is pretty frightening, more in tune with a lynching. We are all guilty of this from time to time. Makes me feel rotten that we are doing it now. Just my humble opinion. Let’s separate the issue from Mr. Fischer’s character and stop the very personal attacks.

      We all deserve that, don’t we?

      • Nancy N. says:

        “Those of us knowing Mr. Fischer realize that something terrible happened here that he could not control. I wonder how many have offered words of comfort to him?”

        Since I’m sure I come off as very harsh on Mr Fischer here, I want to say that having experienced an extremely similar situation with my own husband, I have a lot of sympathy for his personal situation and I did actually contact him shortly after this happened and even spoke to him to offer support despite our philosophical differences. No matter what I think of his public positions, I do feel greatly for his private situation.

        That said, though…I’m not going to give him a pass on his public actions because of his personal issues. Think about it, if the shoe was on the other foot. You’re a staunch conservative – if something bad was happening in President Obama’s family, like his wife was seriously sick with cancer or something, would you just roll over and play dead on his proposals on gun control or gay marriage because “we need to go easy on him because his wife is sick”? Hell no, you wouldn’t.

  27. Sherry Epley says:

    Excellent article, and “right on”, comments! Our school board members should reflect the intelligence and educational level we should be expecting from people in those vital and powerful positions. You published his prepared words verbatium. They speak volumes! They should be embarrassing to him, to other board members and to the people who put him in office. He is the “pot calling the kettle black”, and he should resign. Actually, he obviously should have never be put in that position to begin with.

    We deserve better!

  28. Anon says:

    At the expense of being redundant to Pierre’s response. Here are mine.

    I did not detect overall cruelty in the comments here. Most comments were based on fact.
    His wife did hit a pedestrian and was charged with leaving the scene.
    And his behavior after the accident of calling the sheriff while not illegal was questionable.
    This man is an elected official. And I hope that neither he nor anyone else believes that his tenure would be all touchy and feely.

    I would agree that his qualifications for the position are questionable.
    After Mr. Fischer won the school board election in 2010 the Palm Coast Observer reported.
    Fischer’s background is with the Knights of Columbus, as well as making frequent public comments at School Board meeting.
    His one claim is that he spearheaded the uniform policy. A policy that places a potentially inordinate financial burden on families. Families that reside in an economically depressed locale.

  29. Anonymous says:

    As many time I read the fist Admendment i do not see it saying this??? please show me where it says ANYTHING about “endorsing religion” ~Beside the outright violation of the First Amendment—public schools, as government entities, would be endorsing religion whether a prayer is student-led or not, since students are acting under authority of their school~

  30. out of curiosity says:

    I feel that the Flagler County School Board has more pressing issues that should be addressed at this time. Mr. Fischer touted his experience as a businessman when running for office and said “My business background and the fact that I am a common sense person-thinking before acting-will make me effective in these areas.” I’m not seeing a whole lot of common sense here…

  31. NortonSmitty says:

    If we have to have a prayer in schools, I would like to offer a simple one to start every morning: “Please God, protect us all from the stupidity, arrogance and spitefulness of your fan club.” Amen.

  32. John has my vote in 2014 says:

    Don’t bring his wife’s personal problems into this man trying to do his job as there is no relation between the two. This man has a good heart, and means well. He is for the people, and because he doesn’t have kids in the public school system and is still is as involved as he is warms my heart and lets me know he is for the children!

    • Jennifer S says:

      i’ve never been hired, nor retained a job because i mean well. a good heart & meaning well plus $1.00 doesn’t afford you anymore value for your dollar. has anyone else ever filled out a job application or sat through an interview where the hiring entity wanted to see your credentials in the good hearts/means well department?

  33. Justice for All says:

    We have kicked this subject down the road for all too long. Private citizens, religious groups and school board members continue to push the envelope. The Supreme Court has spoken so why keep challenging a land mark decision which is the law of the land. Our framers of the Constitution were wise men – Separation of Church and State. Let’s move on to other more pressing issues.

  34. Deep South says:

    I’m all for prayer in schools, as long as they are originated and conducted by the students, and only include students. Where else do you think some of these students are going learn about divinity ? Just because their parents or guardians don’t have it in their lives shouldn’t stop the children to live by it. .

    • Nancy N. says:

      “Just because their parents or guardians don’t have it in their lives shouldn’t stop the children to live by it.”

      Who gave you the right to decide what values should be instilled in MY child? It’s my choice as a parent what to teach my child about religion, not yours. How would you like it if a Jewish or Muslim prayer were offered and your child decided that was the “correct” religion and wanted to convert? I’ll bet you’d be screaming then about the school interfering in your parental rights.

      • Deep South says:

        Nancy N. I would never ever denied my children to learn and discover the different faiths and cultures. As a parent I wanted my children to expand their minds, and beliefs. When my children were young they spent many summers traveling the world with our church missionaries discovery different faiths, and cultures, and I am so blessed that they both have turned out to be very successful. So yes religion did play an important role in their lives while growing up. Let your children grow and learn.

        • Nancy N. says:

          My child will learn about other religions. But she will learn about other religious beliefs with ME as her guide, not some classroom teacher or other stranger who may have their own agenda to promote. I note in your comment that your children explored the world with your church’s missionaries – people who obviously believe the same as you – as their guides. I’m only asking that my child be given the same opportunity, instead of my child being subjected to lessons containing whatever agenda her school staff care to promote.

          • Magnolia says:

            Nancy N, you are so right. Well stated. Would you understand if I told you I feel the same way about the sex ed classes being taught in the school?

          • Deep South says:

            Nancy N – You’re missing the point. The stature says that prayers can only be led, if they are originated and conducted by STUDENTS only. No school staff is permitted to be involved, monitor, or initiate this assembly. So rest assure your daughter will not be taught religion by any PAID EMPLOYEE of the Schools. So yes it’s up to you and your daughter to come to that decision if you want her to pray with her fellow students.

        • Jennifer S says:

          deep south… & that is 1 way, your way & version of a success story. it by no means it is the only way in which these achievements are accomplished

  35. w.ryan says:

    Fischer has been unfit for this position from the very beginning! He was and still is a Tea Party candidate and a proponent of an extremist far right political philosophy. It’s a disadvantage that he is not a man of individual intellectual thinking and has been a liability to our children’s welfare. In consideration of all that had happened with his wife and his alleged improprieties he should have been forced to resign!

  36. Cold Hard Facts says:

    I pray the rosary as my students take FCATs. Nobody knows it. Nobody has to.

  37. Magnolia says:

    Nice to know we live in a community so willing to condemn and kick an individual when he’s down. Some of the comments here about Mr. Fischer are an indication we could perhaps use a bit more of what he was talking about, whether you agree with his position or not.

    Colleen, you are a good woman and so right about this situation. Under the circumstances, I’m not sure even Raven Sword would be interesting in serving in this community.

    Tolerance is not one of our finer character points and that does not mean I support school prayer. I’ll keep that opinion to myself.

    There are many parents who are upset about much of what our children are being taught, in violation of what their families feel is wrong and should be taught by a parent. If you are going to demand rights, Mr. Fischer has the right to be at least heard without being condemned, just as the rest of you have the right to be heard without being condemned. Respect and tolerance is a two way street.

    • w.ryan says:

      After the majority of voters in this community cast their votes for a candidate that was clearly not qualified to serve, why would Raven Sword want any part of public service after what transpired since! Tea Party voters pushed Fischer over the hurdle and made a mockery of her campaign. Democracy? Yes! Poor choice? Absolutely!

  38. Jack Stewart says:

    Once again Tristam…spews forth on his hatred of American tradition……when we had god in the schools…we didn’t have all the problems we have now…..Maybe if we try to bring god back and not throw him under the liberal agenda bus…..things might change.

    • Nancy N. says:

      There’s a lot of things in America that are “traditions” that we’ve abandoned in the name of progress…slavery, racism, sex discrimination, bias against homosexuals…

      • Jack Stewart says:

        Nancy……I think those things you mentioned needed to be changed…but something’s need to stay the same. Taking god out of everything is not the answer.

  39. there are three sides to every story says:

    it’s time for him to leave government service!

  40. Stevie says:

    “Nobody’s preventing you from “free exercise” of your religion in public school, as has been noted by many other commenters here. You are perfectly free to pray quietly to yourself anytime that you want, whether you are a student or a staff member. You are only being prevented from forcing others to practice your religion along with you through public pronouncements.”

    You keep accusing me of forcing others to practice “my religion” when I have made every effort to communicate that is not my intention.

    You say I am free to practice then set limits as to how I can practice my faith, that is not free exercise.

    My plan would remove any possibility of you or your children from ever being forced to even listen to prayer let alone be forced to participate. In a society that touts free speech and free exercise of religion such a system should already be in place.

  41. Stevie says:

    “But she will learn about other religious beliefs with ME as her guide”

    The problem is you won’t be with your daughter all the time and she may talk to other children of faith and get info from them. The gay – straight alliance clubs are an example. In their fight against bullying these children will promote their belief system in place of yours. There isn’t a teacher alive that doesn’t affect the values of children in one way or another as they teach. Better make sure you sit through all the classes so you know what is going on.

  42. Liana G says:

    This whole separation of church and state gets skewed when these churches get to claim so many tax breaks/ exemptions, funding/relief from the taxes of non religious taxpayers, and influence political and social discourse in all gov’t policies. In addition, priests can personally claim exemptions and tax write offs for their 10 homes, 10 cars, domestic help, household purchases, and goodness knows what more.

    Where is the separation of church and state? This is just a false notion that gets regurgitated over and over to make people feel they have power or sway via the constitution. I say allow prayers in schools! Along with school vouchers for those parents wanting out. There are very good secular private schools, and they teach real science.

    One of the reasons fundamentalist Muslims are more accepting of evolution – specifically, biological evolution – than fundamentalist Christians is that the Koran does not feature earth being only 7,000/10,000 years old. Thus they can and do allow for the concept of earth being millions of years old and a supreme being creating humans following earth’s advancement. As for the other Asians, their religion allow for the belief in evolution.

    To Charles Darwin born, 02-12-1809 – a happy belated birthday to you!

    • Nancy N. says:

      “There are very good secular private schools, and they teach real science.”

      Name me one good secular private school in Flagler County, or one of any type that will provide appropriate services for special needs kids like mine.

    • Nancy N. says:

      Also Liana, why does it have to be the ones who want to maintain a religion-free education that have to get out of public schools? There’s already a WIDE variety of religious schools available for religious families to choose from in this community. Why do you have to have the public schools too?

  43. Liana G says:

    @Nancy N, it just dawned on me that I’ve met you while volunteering in your daughter’s K/1st grade classroom.She was the only girl in the class and everyone just loved her. Good going mama, she was an incredibly intelligent young lady for her age. Especially in math, she was off the charts! I met a middle schooler so much like her that when I first met her I immediately thought of your daughter. Hope all is going well with everyone. Take care…

    • Nancy N. says:

      Thanks Liana! We are so proud of her! She sure does love that math and science! And she does stand out as one of the only girls in the ASD program, that’s for sure. She’s in 4th grade now and has only one other girl in her class, which is still a big improvement over a lot of the years where she has been the only one. :)

  44. A. Teacher says:

    I know I am late to the party, but I feel compelled to respond.

    I am a teacher at one of the schools in this county. Of all the school board members, Mr. Fisher is one of the very few to visit my classroom and talk to me and my students at our school. This is not a rare event either. I frequently see him at special events. Every time I have seen him, he has been friendly and kind. He’s gone out of his way to come talk to me, shake my hand, and just let me know that he appreciates what I do for my students. I have to admit, it’s hard not to like a man who goes out and does that. I believe more board members should do the same.

    At the same time, I am appalled by these speeches. There is no shortage or prayer in our schools. There’s no teacher I know that would stop any student from praying (either alone or with others) unless it was disruptive. I’ve never seen it be a problem. We have prayer groups made up of teachers, students, and both together. We have a bible-based club on our campus. Surely, he can’t make the claim that Christians don’t have the right to practice their beliefs. Nor can he make the claim that Christians are “hated” and disrespected at our schools.

    I do work with children at the cusp of independence. Many of them are questioning and unsure. I had a student, last year, who was part of a conversation about Christianity among his friends. He commented, “I don’t know if I believe in god.” The others immediately accused him of being an “atheist” and told him that he was wrong. Which of these children had his beliefs disrespected? I’ve met many students who have claimed many beliefs. I’ve had questioning students, atheists, Wiccans, Buddhists, and probably other religions as well. Very few of these students are comfortable even mentioning their beliefs at school. Their beliefs do sometimes come up and it’s a careful line that I tread to encourage respect for all beliefs. I did have a student who was told he (or she) was going to hell because of a non-Christian religious symbol he (or she) was wearing at school. This student was also told to remove the symbol, at once, or get sent to the office. Yes, this was an adult at the school. It was dealt with when the mother came forward and complained. But, it should have never happened in the first place!

    It’s hard enough to make these students feel welcome as full members of the school. If there was a student-led prayer every day, it would be even harder. That prayer, as mentioned, would almost certainly be Christian in nature. It would be sending the message that there is an acceptable type of prayer at school, Christian prayer.

    We already have prayer in school. We already allow religious expression among our students. To go further would be to encroach on the beliefs of the students who are in a religious minority.

    Mr. Fisher will always be welcome to visit my classroom. But he has to follow the same rules I hold my students to, “You don’t have to agree with someone. You don’t have to like someone. But you will treat them with kindness and respect. And you will treat them the same way you want them to treat you.” If Mr. Fisher would be uncomfortable with one of my current students opening my class with a prayer to Allah, he needs to accept that others would be uncomfortable if a different student opened with a prayer to his god.

  45. Stevie says:

    Public schools have the advantage of teaching all ages some values. Check out what;s up this week at the University of Chicago for instance. No praying, butt plenty of open sex. How’s that for value neutral and non offensive.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    The University of Chicago, often compared to Harvard, Yale and Stanford for the level of its academic excellence, is hosting a Sex Week chock-full of events graphically teaching techniques that, in a more innocent time, were considered private matters. Some examples include workshops titled: “Great Oral Sex with Tea Time and Sex Chats,” “The Perfect Vagina,” “Anal 101,” and “Sex Ed for Kids.” Why, there’s even a musical titled “Genitalia the Musical.”

    “Great Oral Sex with Tea Time and Sex Chats” will include talks about “going down on men and women, techniques as well as individual differences and sexual health practices. Yes, expect tea.”

    Gee, no coffee?

    “Anal 101?” It will feature the “logistics and pleasures of anal sex,” with lessons on “prep, protection, barebacking, etc.”

    “Partner Acrobatics?” You’ll learn “how to stand on shoulders and every other place on the body. We’ll have a rope-demonstration where you’ll find that kink is really focused on consent and communication.”

    Other great things? A pornographic parody of “Star Wars.”

    The worst? “Sex Ed For Kids,” which asks, “How do we talk about sex and its related concepts of choice, gender, and desire to our kindergartners?”

    Sex Week is funded by the Dean’s Fund for Student Life and the Student Government Finance Committee.

    • Anonymous says:

      Steve: I am coming into this conversation a bit late but I checked on the U Chicago sex club. This was started by a student. If you read this where did you read the club was being funded by the dean’s club?

  46. Stevie says:

    http://www.sexweekuchicago.com/schedule

    ooops forgot the schedule in case anyone wants to religiously attend all week.

  47. S. Stevens says:

    I do not want that incoherent man representing me on the School Board. If he chooses to run again, people please do not vote for him!

  48. glad fly says:

    arrogance runs deep in this town.

  49. From a Student’s Perspective who is FOR PRAYER IN SCHOOLS:

    I am NOT afraid to say that GOD IS MY FOUNDATION. It is just sad that so many people IN PALM COAST are blind to the “truth.” I am a student and it looks like most of the comments here are from adults. While I can reasonably understand why most of the comments come from views that oppose Mr. Fischer, I do not agree with you all for this reason:

    1. Proverbs 9:10
    “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

    (Translation: you cannot understand things in life if you don’t have wisdom and you If you don’t fear the Lord that means you don’t have wisdom, therefore you actually do not understand the things pertaining to this life because you apply the wrong laws/rules/morals).

    If one truly knows God, he/she will know that the “truth” controls and is what is effective. Those of you who commented and said that prayer should either be kept at home or should not be included in schools lack the knowledge to know that there is POWER in prayer. It is because you have not yet experienced that prayer works is why you can even oppose it in schools. But I think it is more likely that you are the same people who will argue for a separation of government and religion right?

    …but if only you knew the truth about how powerful prayer is then you would see the need to get rid of such a mindset that would support to oppose prayer in schools. Has prayer hurt anyone? Has believing in God caused you pain & suffering?

    I find that most people who pray & believe in God are able to live life more peacefully.

    Mr. Fischer stated that there should be prayer in schools because he knows God & he knows that prayer is what will change things! I was actually happy to hear that he made such statements. I am glad that he stood up for Christianity & I agree that prayer should be in school. Yes my opinion is biased but I believe that an effective mechanism such as prayer overrules. I mean, you wonder why the kids in Palm Coast are the way they are…… hmmm….

    I respectfully say to you all that we suffer in life not for the things we know, but we suffer for what we don’t know. If you knew better, you would do better right? That goes to show that from my observation since moving to Palm Coast, the kids NEED prayer! Their minds are lustful & dirty & not focused!! Ugh! This town is full of lost kids who just want to engage in sex & be “cool.” Well I don’t have time for the nonsense. Stop saying we don’t need prayer in school! Are you serious?! If the kids knew how to pray, I’m sure they would come home to you all with better attitudes and greater insight on important things in life. They would not be so attracted & distracted by the things of this world that are not important.

    Prayer requires faith….. isn’t faith what we use to keep us going? & Yes whether you believe in God or not you DO exercise faith. Don’t we use faith to help us in pursuing a dream? To keep us motivated in hopes for something better? To give us ambition to strive for success?
    So without faith…… Isn’t that a lack of hope, perseverance, ambition, motivation, and/or success? ….That’s exactly how it is in the schools right now. There’s no faith or a lack of and that’s why prayer is needed.

    The real underlying issue being debated here is whether having prayer in schools will effect kids negatively….That sounds like the real issue. Those who are against prayer ultimately have a problem with it because they don’t want certain prayers/beliefs to influence their kids right?…. -_-
    but c’mon, please tell me where such prayers in schools have influenced a student to do something evil???? (waiting….)

    In conclusion, I can reasonably understand why most people commented the way they did – it is because they don’t know the truth.
    But what harm can prayer cause? —> a dissent on your belief? Well yes, but prayer is so effective that it should.

    I respectfully disagree with most of the comments here.

  50. Anonymous says:

    So, gay clubs are okay for middle schools but school prayer is a horrible thing? Got it.

  51. Flaglerresident says:

    Just because a state law is passed by legislators making prayer in school okay, does not make it okay to do. Especially when there is an amendment to the United States Constitution with a clause established by the United States Supreme Court (Establishment Clause of the 14th Amendment). And as stated in one of the first posts above, prayer in school was not established until post WW-II. Making prayer in school around for less than 20 yrs.

    Now, to Mr. Fisher, just because what you think is right, does not make it right for my kids or another parent’s children. I can assure you, your morals and the life you lead is totally different from the life my kids will lead.

    Anytime there is some change that would change the foundation of the principles of any public organization this should not be left up to 5 people with agendas or motives. It should be up to the people who will be there longer than an election cycle or two. I get more frustrated with this entire group because of the total lack of regard of what the parents want. That is great you too have kids in school here, but there are constituents who you are elected to amplify our desires, but fail to do so by your own agendas or motives.

    If you answer this question with anything other than yes, then it should not be considered: “Is prayer in school going to achieve higher graduation rates for the students?” That is right, you cannot answer this question with an exact yes, and if you could we would all send our kids to private schools or charter schools that pertain to teaching a religious education.

    Mr. Fisher, if you force my kids to pray in school, and it does not recognize every God there is to recognize, I along with the majority of the people posting above will bring in the ACLU and ensure the Flagler School Board pays for their mistake. Furthermore, it is only a matter of time before this state law is repealed, if anyone is obtuse enough to enact a policy at the local level.

  52. “Is prayer in school going to achieve higher graduation rates for the students?”

    YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!

  53. DID JAMIE FISHER SEE THE LADY THAT NIGHT AND HIT HER/???? what is an ACCIDENT ??? how come we cant feel for ALL the people in this case. i know this family is good people and give of them self i for one am so sorry for everyone and wish everyone would put them self in their place!!!! it was an accident it was an accident!! we need more LOVE . what would GOD say about us!! I for one I am sad for ALL!! !!! I DO NOT THINK ANY ONE CAN SAY WHAT THEY WOULD DO AT THAT TIME

  54. confidential says:

    If was an accident she should have stopped and help and not keep driving away….maybe Mrs Pequeur would have not died then! She intentionally broke the law with total disregard for human life and even worst try to cover up by contacting along with her husband, their good buddy then FCSO. How is that for a bad example to our youth? Is time that in this county the law will prevail equally to all and also that some “so called 2006 murder suicide” cases will be reopened and properly re-investigated so we can get the feeling of leaving again in the USA and not the USSR.

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