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Religious Group Raps School Policy

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A Pioneer High School teacher and a student complained to the Ann Arbor Board of Education last night about alleged discrimination against religious groups and activities at the high school. Social studies teacher Duane G. Cuthbertson told the trustees certain groups espousing partisan causes (such as a new club called Students Organized for Peace- STOP) were allowed to meet on school property and show films about their goalswithout charge. Huron Valley Youth For Christ, however, the group of which he is executive director, is forced to pay a rental fee for its meetings, Cuthbertson declared. Cuthbertson criticized the practice because he said both groups espouse particular causes and should be treated simüarly. Cuthbertson and Huron Valley Youth For Christ attempted to convince the school board in April of 1968 to change its policy and allow religious groups to form school-sponsored clubs at the high schools. Permission was denied, though rental rules and fees for religious groups were relaxed. Pioneer student Wilson Heevner complained that newspapers put out by Students for a Democratie Society (SDS) and other groups were being passed out regularly at Pioneer High, with the knowledge of administrators, he claimed. The student said this was unfair, since the Bible is not allowed to be passed out. School Supt. W. Scott Westerman Jr. said he did not know of any unauthorized SDS literature being distributed at Pioneer, but that three nonofficial newspapers which had the permission of the schools had been passed out this month. These papers had followed the rules of the schools' "free press" policy, and had signed a paper agreeing not to use libelous language, etc. Heevner asked why more representatives of the military were not present at school Career Days. He also blasted "several teachers" for "cutting down the President, the government, and our Vietnam policy" in their classes.


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