Complaint Filed With Superintendent

A formal complaint has just been filed with the Leon County school superintendent about a special assembly at SAIL High School last week. The complaint revolves around 11 Buddhist monks who talked with students about their lifestyle and beliefs.

Eugene Danaher is the complainant. He says there should never be an assembly with religious overtones of any kind in a public school. The principal of SAIL High School says the assembly did not. She said it was in conjunction with the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday and had a message of peace.

Just days ago monks were speaking to students at SAIL High School, a visit paid for with a donation of $150 from school vending machine profits. The principal says students made the decision to give the money. At least one man is angry about the donation and the assembly.

"As a tax payer and a parent, I'm appalled that a principal would call 250 students into an assembly, where they're captive and turn it over to 11 Buddhist Monks who then speak for over an hour. To me that's outrageous!" says Eugene Danaher.

Eugene Danaher has filed his complaint with the superintendent of Leon County schools.

"Based on what I know, in just a quick review, it doesn't appear that the school has violated any rules and regulations. The vending machine profits are meant to be used to benefit the kids and we have a set practice and policy that we follow," says Leon County Schools Superintendent Bill Montford.

The SAIL High School principal says the assembly wasn't about religion, but instead it was about respecting elders and teachers.

"When you bring in people from the outside, religious, and they preach their doctrine, and sell their wares to students and demand a payment to come and speak, and the students take it out of their soda pop fund, there's something radically wrong."

"I was not aware about the assembly, I was not aware of the vending machine profits being used. We have a good principal there and I have confidence in her."

The principal said that parents were informed with a newsletter, also that there was no secret in the monks coming to the school. One student opted out of the assembly for personal reasons.