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The North Suburban Chicago Freethinkers Meetup Group Message Board › Church-state violation in Rockford school district?

Church-state violation in Rockford school district?

Matthew L.
Group Organizer
Vernon Hills, IL
Howdy all,

I just wanted to let you all know about a potential church-state violation in the Rockford, IL area. Read on, and please consider helping out, either by attending the upcoming school board meeting (especially if you or people you know live in the Rockford area) or by writing/calling the officials in question about it. The necessary contact info to get more details is included below, should you have any questions.

Cheers - Matt


I really appreciated you sharing an action alert with me in the past.  Now I am sharing an action alert with you. 

Janet Buchanan, my friend and an atheist of the Rockford, IL area, is spearheading an effort to transition her kids' suburban public school district away from benefiting a discriminatory religious organization (Salvation Army) and ending the public school children's exposure to biased Christian messages from the administration.  Instead, she suggested the school should benefit a secular nonprofit (like an existing local food pantry.)

The Freedom from Religion Foundation wrote a letter in support, but Janet is somewhat isolated, outnumbered, and receiving hostility on the ground.  The school board told her to sue them.  The superintendent insists on partnering with Salvation Army because it teaches students to "live a life based on servant-leadership" as the Christian refrain goes.

Janet is practically begging secular-minded people from the whole region, not just from her school district, to show up to a school board meeting next week and speak out.  She even told me that if I got a carpool of people together from Chicago, she'd give me some gas money.  Even if I had a car, which I don't, I'd hate to take Janet's few dollars.  But it does show how much
she cares about her daughters' present and future. 

Please consider spreading the word through your chapter of Americans United and the North Suburban Chicago Freethinkers Meetup Group.  Questions and general support can be directed to Janet at (but please don't post her email publicly) or the Stateline Atheist Society website below.  After I send this email to you, I'll whip up an email to the people Janet listed: superintendent/ board members/ committees (included below) and the editors of the local newspapers.  Thank you for reading.



School Board Meeting
6:45pm/7pm, April 10th
New Administration Bldg. - 3rd Bd. Room
501 7th Street.,
Rockford, IL  61104

Voice your opinion to:

Superintendent Robert Willis    (815) 966-3100
Laura Fromm, Executive Assistant Superintendent's Office    (815) 966-3100
Roberta Edwards, Executive Coordinator to the Superintendent The Board of Education    (815) 966-3101

The School Board
Harmon Mitchell    (815) 399-0710    ​
Jude Makulec      (815) 633-6818
Lisa Jackson     ​(815) 375-0175     ​
Tim Rollins     ​(815) 987-8910     ​
Kenneth Scrivano     ​(815) 871-6683     ​
Ronnell Moore     ​(815) 871-6811     ​
Laura Powers     ​(815) 874-3446     ​

Committee Chairpersons
Christina Ostergard     (815) 298-3266
Doug Burton     (815) 378-1709
Richard Walsh     (815) 966-3100
Venita Hervey     (815) 968-7682
Matthew Johnson-Doyle     (815) 398-6322 ext. 14  (Interesting, Unitarian Universalist.  I thought they reject religious pressure.)
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