|However, instead of approving the church school’s application at the committee meeting on July 12, 2023, School Committee Member Elizabeth Ann Deneeve used her position to air her personal beliefs, and to falsely disparage, malign, and misrepresent Providence Christian Academy and the curriculum it intends to use. |
For example, some of Deneeve’s outrageous and unlawful comments include:
“They use the Abeka Curriculum, which I believe is in direct opposition to the values of GPS. The curriculum is full of false information and students who learn from it have a harder time getting into four-year colleges and universities because they will believe a whole set of things that are erroneous and be historically illiterate, which I think is a bad thing for our community and our country, and ultimately this is going to be reflected in a real breakdown in the separation of church and state, which is really the agenda of these curricula.”
“In the Abeka textbook America: Land I Love, Satan is blamed for the spread of the theory of evolution and modern psychology; it is taught in the ‘Civil War’ section that black slavery was just cheaper than indentured servitude, and slaves were immigrants.”
“In the science textbook, we learn that we must reject any scientific ideas that contradict the Bible, and there was only one Ice Age, and it lasted a couple of hundred years after Noah’s flood.”
“The ‘History’ section will teach us that the Great Depression was created by socialists to destabilize patriotic Americans, and the LGBTQ issues are listed under “United States History, Heritage of Freedom, and Christian Perspectives Cultural Decay” section, saying traditional American family values have dramatically declined, and when the traditional heterosexual family comes under attack, all of society suffers.”
“Schools that use Abeka have come under scrutiny for expelling students who are LGBTQ or the children of LGBTQ parents. Abeka is the founder of the Pensacola Christian College and has been fined $44 million by the IRS for lying about being a nonprofit. They’ve had to apologize for their racist past because they didn’t allow interracial relationships. They outlawed dancing.”
After Deneeve expressed her anti-religious views, the committee failed to approve the church school’s application on the basis of its religious beliefs and its choice of a well-established Abeka curriculum. However, the committee indicated that the Abeka program is approved in Greenfield for home school students. Therefore, if the prospective students of Providence Christian Academy are approved to learn from the Abeka program individually at home, then the committee has no rational basis for denying these students the fundamental right to learn collectively from that same curriculum at the church school.
Superintendent Christine DeBarge recently stated that GPS will be redistricting the schools to allow for greater “equity” across elementary schools, while also moving fifth grade to the elementary level and eighth grade to the middle school. However, the Greenfield School Committee is violating the First Amendment and Massachusetts law by discriminating against Providence Christian Academy based on the personal opinions or preferences of its members about the curriculum, or the manner in which the curriculum is taught.
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