Remember last week when I reported that the judge had issued a preliminary injunction against a school for having a 3rd grade class sing a ridiculous country song called In God We Still Trust at an end-of-year event? Well now the school has replaced that song with another one called Chatter With the Angels, apparently an old African-American spiritual. The catch: this song appears in a state-approved textbook for use by elementary school music teachers and has been on the approved singing list for 20 years.
Davidson said the “Chatter With the Angels” song has been on a state approved list since 1988.
It was approved again in 2003 when it was included in the book “Share the Music,” one of only two elementary education music books chosen through the state Department of Education textbook selection program.
In the 1988 selection, it was characterized as a “Black American folk song.” In 2003 it was listed as an “African-American spiritual.”
Only two elementary education music books were chosen by the state in 2003, and St. Johns County chose “Share the Music.”
“If (our elementary music teachers) use a text, they would use this one,” Davidson said.
The plaintiffs have filed an amended complaint seeking an injunction against using this song as well until the court has had a chance to hear the full case. But this does put the judge in a bit of a bind and I’m sure it was chosen precisely for that reason.
But here’s what sticks out to me: The relentless insistence on some public school teachers and administrators to use their position to proselytize children. Why can’t they just allow parents to direct the religious upbringing of their own children? Why do they try so fervently to push their religious views on other people’s children?