Springboro cancels controversial classes

The Springboro school board has cancelled its plan to host two courses on the U.S. Constitution that embroiled the district in controversy over what opponents called a religious interpretation of the subject.

The courses, provided by the Institute on the Constitution and the National Center for Constitutional Studies, have been criticized as “tea party leaning” and religiously oriented.

The district planned to offer the courses to parents, students and staff so the community could experience them first hand, Board Vice President Jim Rigano said in a statement.

“We felt that having the community participate with evaluating these courses would be an excellent opportunity for schools and community to work together,” according to the statement. “Instead, the courses have received some criticism from the community, which we take very seriously.”

Rigano said in the statement that the board wants more time to investigate community concerns.

In June, the ACLU of Ohio said the group was investigating the board’s actions as part of an overall plan to push a religious agenda in the public school district.

According to the school district, the Institute on the Constitution course was scheduled to run for 12 weeks starting July 9, while the National Center for Constitutional Studies was scheduled to be a one day seminar in August.

Registrants for the Institute course can contact instructor Ricki Pepin at (937) 322-2149 for a refund. The district said those who registered for the one-day seminar will receive a refund.

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