Ketchikan judge says ‘Creator’ statement can remain on Ketchikan school walls


A school district poster that promotes Native values that the district wants to instill in students does not violate the U.S. Constitution, a Ketchikan judge has ruled.

Two parents wanted the poster taken down from the walls of the Ketchikan Charter School because, among the values on the poster is “Reverence for Our Creator,” which pushes a religious perspective.

Students at the school are subject to a behavior modification program based on how well they expresse the Native values — values that were determined by Southeast Alaska Native leaders two decades ago.

The poster refers to things like having pride in clans, being strong, having courage, and being good stewards of the land and sea.

Judge Katherine Lybrand said that the parents, one of whom is a teacher at the school, didn’t convince her that “Reverence for Our Creator” is a religious statement. She added that even if the statement was religious, it didn’t force behavior on anyone.

“The mere display of the posters around the District’s schools does not foster excessive entanglement or coerce students to believe a certain thing (and in fact there was no testimony that any student has felt coerced in any way),” Lybrand wrote, and that the poster promoting values is “more akin to reciting the pledge of allegiance than the posting of the Ten Commandments because the poster as a whole demonstrates that its purpose is to promote place-based learning and cross-cultural understanding, not to promote a religious belief.”


  1. Ha!

    A rare, reasonable ruling by an Alaskan judge. But it is Ketchikan. Alaska’s last bastion of sanity.
    And the best food south of Skagway.

    • You know nothing about my world, you sad little man.

      You don’t even get the comment. You’re nowhere as clever as you think yourself.

  2. So the teacher thinks all created things, including humans, in all their complexities and intricacies, just appeared one day? No intelligent being, that is, a Creator, created the universe? Wow, what other instantaneous event, without a Creator, resulted in such fine tuned processes that would give the teacher and other parent evidence that there is no such thing as a Creator?

  3. Those are not exclusively native values, to me they look like human values. And damn good ones. If we can’t have the Ten Commandments from GOD in our schools these will have to do. Also, regardless of my ethnic origins, I too am a Native American, by virtue of having been born in the United States of America. Claim your BIRTHRIGHT People!

  4. Supporting values is just fine, so long as they are Native and not Christian ones. How very Woke of them

      • They are welcome to promote their native values in their schools that they build and maintain. But for a public school that’s a fine line of religion they shouldn’t cross.

  5. Under this parent and teacher’s logic, the Declaration of Independence, which calls upon the Creator, is also unconstitutional.

    They should, likewise, turn over their bank accounts and paychecks, because all their coins and dollars, which under their logic, are similarly unconstitutional, since it reads, “In God We Trust” on all of them.

    Silly teacher. Sensible judge.

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