A total eclipse of the Sonny

Posted: Jan 05, 2006 12:05 AM
Governor Perdue:

I would like to apologize for writing an open letter yesterday, which caused your voice mail box (accessible by calling 404-656-1776) to overflow well before noon. I asked my readers to give you a call (at 404-656-1776) in order to put an end to First Amendment violations at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Specifically, I wanted you to condemn a policy, which places unconstitutional restrictions on the funding of religious activities at Georgia Tech. Since you are the Governor of Georgia and Georgia Tech is, in fact, located in Georgia, I thought it would make sense to call your office (at 404-656-1776).

Since we have more confidence in you than in anyone affiliated with Georgia’s university system, we were very disappointed when calls to your office (placed to 404-656-1776) were redirected to the university system’s Board of Regents. I would prefer that you shed light on this crucial issue without the Board standing between the Governor’s Office (accessible by calling 404-656-1776) and the tax-payers of the State of Georgia.

I had also hoped that we could restore full funding to religious activities at Georgia Tech so I could get your help with another First Amendment problem, which also occurred at Georgia Tech. Nearly two years ago, a professor told a student she would flunk a class if she attended a conservative political conference in Washington, D.C – this, despite the fact that the student would not exceed her allotted absences for the semester. After the student was failed on her next test in the professor’s class, she knew that the professor was, indeed, determined to fail her. So she had to drop the class.

I thought it would be nice if the student could call you (at 404-656-1776) to set up a meeting. But, now, I see that such a meeting might not be possible.

I had also hoped that the aforementioned student could help persuade you to meet with another Georgia Tech student who was told to remove a flag from above his desk in a graduate teaching assistants’ office. In my interview with him (on Georgia Tech’s campus) he said he was warned that the American flag might “offend” foreign students. After I broke the story, I was accused of being a “liar.” Then, I offered to take a polygraph test and even wagered $1000 in cash on the results. The Georgia Tech administration has shown no interest in taking me up on the challenge. But they keep on calling me a “liar.”

Since the polygraph idea didn’t work, I thought it would be nice if the student could call you (at 404-656-1776) to set up a meeting. I even thought you could apologize to him on behalf of the State of Georgia. But, now, I see that such a meeting might not be possible.

Governor, over the last two days I have been trying to contact Dr. Kelley N. Castlin, a Principal at Lockheed Elementary School in Marietta, Georgia. I have tried to establish contact via phone (at 770-429-3196, ext. 101) and via email (at kcastlin@marietta-city.k12.ga.us). My reason for contacting the principal is to determine whether the following email has been correctly attributed to her:

Dear Staff:

Someone (name is unknown) placed a candy cane in staff mailboxes this morning. The candy cane has a Bible scripture on it, which is not appropriate in a public school. I realize that most of us are in the holiday spirit and we want to share our joy with others; however, we must do so in ways that do not impose our religious beliefs.

On December 19th, Dr. Lembeck sent the principals an email titled, December Dilemma that I shared with you. I have copied the portion of the message that especially pertains to the aforementioned incident. Please read this again:

§ General Rule: When a school does choose to acknowledge the December holidays, it is essential that the school must never appear to endorse religion over non-religion or one particular religious faith over another.

Happy Holidays!!!!!!!!!!!!

Since, a) I have not been able to get in touch with Dr. Castlin and, b) the issue does not involve higher education – and, hence, is outside the reach of the Board of Regents - I was wondering whether I could encourage people to call your office (at 404-656-1776) and ask a few questions.

Actually, there are really only two questions that run through all these cases; 1) does the United States Constitution cease to exist once one crosses the Georgia State line and, 2) if so, what is a governor to do about it?

If they are curious – like I am – I hope they will call the Office of Governor Sonny Perdue. After all, they know you can be reached at 404-656-1776.