Moving Schools from Battleground Into Common Ground

April 2005

I know it may be too late for many of you to attend the briefing below but these kind of briefings offered in your district, county or education association can go a long ways to helping educators understand the cultural rifts causing much of the conflict in public education today. They also help them develop strategies to respond to concerned parents and community members at first contact in a way that can disarm escalating conflict and build a common ground environment where people from a wide diversity of political and social views can work together for a higher common good. BridgeBuilders conducts the kinds of briefings regularly and if you'd like to us to conduct one in your area please get in touch with us.

On April 15 The California Three Rs Project of the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association and Freedom Forum First Amendment Center invite administrators, teachers, college of education faculty, and school board members to Moving Schools from Battleground to Common Ground.


The recent election showed us that the blue states and red states are really made of deeply divided communities served by our public schools. The election, of course, didn’t create the religious divide in America, it only served to highlight how deep and abiding our religious and moral differences have become. The culture-war battles of 2004 are a harbinger of even wider conflicts in 2005 and beyond. The fight over evolution entered a new phase in 2004 around the issue of “intelligent design.” New court rulings related to student T-shirt messages and distribution of religious literature on elementary school campuses have left many educational leaders confused. The Pledge of Allegiance is back in the spotlight as is the gay rights issue. Learn how educators can use the First Amendment to find common ground and develop systems to deal with these very real differences without turning the schools into battlegrounds.


  • Charles Haynes, First Amendment Center Senior Scholar
  • Wayne Jacobsen, Founder, BridgeBuilders


April 15, 2005 • 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Sacramento County Office of Education
10474 Mather Boulevard • Sacramento, CA 95826 • Map:
$50 per person
PDF Registration form available here
(includes materials, Finding Common Ground book, and lunch)
For information contact: Margaret Hill, CA Three Rs Lead (909) 386-2611

If you don't know about the California Three Rs Project, you might be interested in the resources they offer to help educators deal with religious and cultural differences. You can download their latest publication on Religious Accommodation for Muslim Students here. You can find out more about the California Three Rs project at their web site and if you'd like to subscribe to their free quarterly email bulletin, you can send a request here.

Wayne Jacobsen, President

For more information on BridgeBuilders you can download our BridgeBuilders Fact Sheet here or go to our BridgeBuilders Front Page.

Worldviews Education Watch is a free service provided by BridgeBuilders offering the latest information on religious liberty and public education drawn from court cases, policies and current events. It will also share examples of successful partnerships and cooperation between public schools and faith communities.

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