By Christy Barritt
Part of Air Force Academy Oath Now Optional
When cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy take an oath to uphold the Honor Code, the phrase “so help me God” will now be optional.
This happened after the Military Religious Freedom Foundation threatened legal action and demanded the phrase be removed, saying the phrase violated the U.S. Constitution.
The code was modified in 1984 to read, “We will not lie, steal or cheat, nor tolerate among us anyone who does. Furthermore, I resolve to do my duty and to live honorably, so help me God.”
Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson said the change was made to respect cadets’ freedom of religion.
Cadets only take the oath once, when they formally enter the Colorado school after boot camp.
Electronic Media Presents Health Risks to Kids
The American Academy of Pediatrics posted a revised policy statement titled “Children, Adolescents and the Media,” warning doctors and parents about the serious risks of unrestricted media in the lives of children.
The pediatric group warned that there are many problems associated with media consumption in adolescents, including those linked to violence, sex, drug use, and obesity.
According to the study, the average 8- to 10-year-old spends nearly eight hours a day with a variety of different media, including everything from smartphones, laptops, tablets, and TV.
The statement especially warned adults about the dangers of social media, which was found to be the leading activity for children and teens, right under sleeping. It even surpassed the amount of time spent in school.
The lead pediatrician of the study said that many parents are “clueless” about how much time their children are spending on these things.
Homeschool Families Fight Against Proposed Regulations
Homeschool families in Nebraska are fighting against newly proposed regulations that they claim are tantamount to “government interference” in the way they educate their children.
The proposed changes are in direct response to a May 2013 victory for a homeschool family in the Nebraska Supreme Court. The parents had been charged with truancy when they didn’t begin homeschooling their children in August, the time when public school started.
The family’s lawyers said that state law did not require homeschools and public schools to begin on the same date. The homeschooling family eventually won, and the charges were dropped.
The Nebraska Department of Education now wants to alter current laws and require students to remain in public school for up to 30 days until the government issues an acknowledgement letter regarding parents’ plans to homeschool.
Homeschooling parents at a recent Department of Education meeting called these proposed new rules the equivalent to “tyranny.”
Gates Named President of Boy Scouts
Robert Gates, former U.S. Secretary of Defense, former CIA director, and former Texas A&M president, has been nominated as the next president of the Boy Scouts of America.
Controversy arose in May when the BSA altered its policy to ban avowed homosexual scouts from joining the organization. But the ban on homosexual leaders remains in place.
In the past Gates pushed for the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which barred open homosexuality in the military. In numerous instances, he voiced his full support for President Obama’s push to eliminate this policy.
Gates, an Eagle Scout, still needs to be approved by the membership for his two-year term.
Christy Barritt is an award-winning author, freelance writer, and speaker living in Chesapeake, Virginia. She and her husband Scott have two sons.