Dr. Grego has asked me to respond on his behalf to your email below and your telephone messages to him. Please let this email serve as that response.
Thank you for your presentation at our School Board meeting in December and for your gracious offer of the training program. However, at this time, the District will not be accepting your offer. As you can imagine, numerous outside organizations offer to speak to our staff regarding various topics. Rather than accept those offers, we rely upon our comprehensive professional development program in the District to provide training to our staff. This program offers trainings in a wide range of topics, from classroom management skills and instructional strategies to operational and legal issues (including Constitutional rights).
Thank you again for your offer and your interest in public education.
School Board Attorney
Board Certified – Education Law
Pinellas County Schools
301 Fourth Street SW
Largo, FL 33770
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Dr. Michael A. Grego firstname.lastname@example.org, Superintendent
Pinellas County Schools
301 Fourth St. SW
Largo, FL 33770
Phone: (727) 588-6000
RE: Faith, Freedom & Public School Education Workshop. (em1)
Dear Dr. Michael A. Grego,
On November 17, 2015, if you remember, I spoke to the school board to introduce a new public school program called Faith, Freedom and Public School Education Workshop ( http://www.gtbe.org/news/index.php/5/27.html ) that hopefully can be made available to our Pinellas County teachers and administrators. This program was developed by Dr. Eric Buehrer, President of Gateways To Better Education (gtbe.org) in cooperation with the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) law firm who believe that "students have more freedom to express their faith than you may realize." It is a 3.5 hr workshop designed to instruct teachers and administrators about what's legal and illegal about "America's default religion" in the classroom or to quote them "Addressing the Bible and Christianity Without Mixing Church and State". Their Educator Workshop web page (linked above) has a 3 min. video of teacher and administrator testimonies as well as their Seminar Agenda.
Another reason for advertising the workshop is to encourage your legal department to be proactive regarding the rights of our students' religious expression. The local teachers I have befriended over the years have never mentioned a school board attorney's workshop or a religion workshop based on the Constitutional principles of the 1st Amendment. I am sure that you would like to counter civil liberty threats and prevent potential separation of church and state law suits mostly based on someone feeling "offended" at every innocent religious expression. I believe the Gateway Education Workshop and their 1.5 hour Parent Seminar covering similar religious liberties would highly benefit students, parents, teachers and school administrators.
If there is any hesitation toward scheduling the Education Workshop based on it's own merit and value, the staff and volunteers of Hisways USA, Inc. would be glad to issue a petition throughout the county as an affirmation of pubic support. We have previous experience with grassroots petitioning the school board. In 2007 regarding a comprehensive Model School Board Religion Policy, see blog: Summary re: Progress of Community Petition to Pinellas County School Board Regarding The Liberty Counsel's 'Model Policy On Religion', we successfully presented petitions for the 'Model School Board Religion Policy' which became Policy #2270 in the 2009 school board's rewrite which is online: Assessment, Accountability and Research / District Bylaws and Board Policy web page (and pdf format). While that is an excellent policy, it might not sufficiently explain the finer legal distinctions for our parents, teachers and administrators. One of the speakers at the May 8, 2007 meeting for the Religion Policy was Sonya L. March Esq. (SonyaLMarch(AT)gmail.com). She is an affiliated attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and is available for consultation. Contact info. for Gateways is http://www.gtbe.org/contact/ .
Just a reminder that Religious Freedom Day is January 16th, 2016. A very unique American attribute, acknowledged by many of our Presidents for that specific 1st Amendment liberty. I can't think of another civil liberty amendment that has it's own day of honor.
152 SW Monroe Circle N.
St. Petersburg, FL 33703
Chairman, Hisways USA, Inc.
official ph: 727-521-6012 or
preferred ph: 727-526-4790
Hisways USA, Inc. Blog: /Blog_FFPS_EduWkshop/
Gateways to Better Education - Workshop News and Articles
Click this link to go to their Workshop page that has
a 3 min. video with teacher testimonies.
4/28/16 Edit: The return email had Hisways' text size increased by several pt sizes. It was returned to normal for this page. Any edits or modifications to the original texts will be clearly designated in Magenta text.