Kudos To The Neptune Board Of Education

By Art Gallagher

We have been hard on the Neptune Board of Education over their choice to negotiate with the ACLU over the use of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association’s Great Auditorium as the venue for their high school graduation.  We would have preferred that Neptune, or anybody, stand up to the over reaching ACLU and their cowardly client.  We continue to believe that there are winnable legal arguments, right arguments, that the use of the Great Auditorium is not a violation of the first amendment required separation of church and state.

We don’t agree that covering the religious signs and symbols at the venue protects the rights of someone who does not agree with the message.  We don’t believe that if someone feels like an outsider that their rights have been violated.  We don’t believe that an ecumenical prayer to begin or end a ceremony or the singing of a hymn makes a civic ceremony a religious service.

We would love to see the ACLU crushed in court or to scamper away at the sight of a leader who would stand up to their bullying tactics.

However, in this case we believe the Neptune Board of Education and Superintendent David Mooij performed admirably for their community.   As we were reminded this week with the Abbott Ruling, we have an arrogant, activist and dysfunctional judiciary in this state and country.  As strong as their arguments would have been, there is a good chance that the Neptune board could have lost in court and the 70 year tradition of holding their graduation in the Great Auditorium could have been over.   Such a result would have been most unfortunate for the community of Neptune.  It appears that the Neptune board and Mooij were able to avoid that result.   For avoiding that result and preserving the tradition they are to be commended.

We continue to have one major issue with the conduct of the board and administration in Neptune; their policy of protecting the identity of the ACLU’s client.  The grumpy granny’s identity should be an easily searchable matter of public record.  Her name should have appeared in the minutes of the Neptune Board of Education meeting last July when she first publically raised the issue.  Instead, she was identified as “a member of the public.”

The woman who felt like an outsider at her grandchild’s graduation last year and concluded that her rights were violated should have gone to therapy rather than threaten to go to court.  She knows she’s an outsider.  By hiding her identity with the cooperation of the Neptune board and the ACLU she confirmed that she’s a sneaky outsider without the courage of her convictions to withstand public scorn and scrutiny.

By protecting the woman’s identity the board and administration put their 70 year tradition that means a great deal to the community at risk. Fortunately things worked out for the present and future Neptune graduates.  Unfortunately those students also learned a lesson in the power of cowardice and complicity.

Posted: May 26th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: ACLU, Neptune | Tags: , , , | 12 Comments »

12 Comments on “Kudos To The Neptune Board Of Education”

  1. neptunematters said at 8:21 am on May 26th, 2011:

    We will respectfully have to disagree with you Art on one point, because compromising with the ACLU means loosing. And, from the looks of comments from supporters on this issue; it seems many have a bit of a bitter taste in their mouth this morning. Sad.


    We’ll also post your article over on are blog as well. Thanks for the coverage on this issue!

  2. Sal Minelo said at 9:46 am on May 26th, 2011:

    Art, what happened to the pantie waist Board Members from earlier this month? They drew a line in the sand and you label them as pantie waists and then they / CMA cave in on the final points and you want to issue kudos. You would make a great political candidate as apparently any side is a good side.

  3. ArtGallagher said at 10:05 am on May 26th, 2011:


    You’ve got a reading comprehension problem. I trust you are not a graduate of the Neptune system.

  4. James Hogan said at 10:14 am on May 26th, 2011:

    The ironic part is the anonymous attacks on the anonymous complainer and then the anonymous comments on both blogs or the app website defending or supporting the anonymous complainer and few people having the courage of conviction to stand up and stand out for the principles and ideals that they believe in and support.

    I’ve asked before if these anonymous writers talk to their neighbors with bags over their heads… apparently, they do if no one can name the woman in question.

    Anyway, any truth to the rumors that American flags will be used as drapery to cover those claimed offensive religious symbols? I sure hope not, lest I file a complaint; and hire Tommy D to represent me. My flag, the Most Recognized Symbol of Freedom and Democracy Throughout the World, should be treated with more respect than some cheap curtain.

  5. Sal Minelo said at 11:14 am on May 26th, 2011:

    Actually Art I have a reading aversion issue. I’ve stopped reading your blog since the pantie waist comments. I was told by a friend that your tune had changed so I visited and saw the Kudos headline. I couldn’t be bothered to read your article.

    BTW, the electric lights are going to be covered with the Neptune logo, not a flag.

  6. ArtGallagher said at 12:02 pm on May 26th, 2011:

    Sal, You must be a Democrat the way you jump to conclusions and take a position without the facts.

    You started reading this blog because of the pantywaist comments, Sal. And you will be back. I’m addicting.

  7. Justified Right said at 12:08 pm on May 26th, 2011:

    Happy I’m not going. I might start turning over tables like Jesus did to the money changers.

    To cover a religious symbol or saying is insulting beyond belief.

    I promise you if I were there I’d tear it down.

  8. Pomp and Circumstance said at 1:22 pm on May 26th, 2011:

    So, DeSeno, you feel so strongly about it you’d “turn over the tables like Jesus did…” yet you’re not going to go and actually do it.

    So despite your own (stated) “messianic complex,” you’re too afraid to do what Jesus would do. Typical right-wing blowhard. Sound and fury that signifies nothing.

    Art, if you and “Neptune Matters” are any indication of the type of education offered there (It’s “our” blog not “are” blog and “losing” not “loosing”) no one should be bragging about Neptune and it’s “graduates.”

    Art, you may be “addicting” (seeing as I’m not privy to what you do on your own time I can’t speak to that) but you certainly are NOT “addictive.” Get the difference? And what’s with this “we” crap? You got a mouse in your pocket?

  9. ArtGallagher said at 1:40 pm on May 26th, 2011:

    Welcome Pompous. You’ll be back.

  10. James Hogan said at 1:43 pm on May 26th, 2011:

    See the irony? A coward, hiding behind some anonymous name, is calling Tommy a coward…for not breaking the law and disrupting what should be a moment to remember for the young adults graduating Neptune HS…while at the same time not stating, or defending, their own beleifs. Typical liberal blowhard.

  11. neptunematters said at 5:10 pm on May 26th, 2011:

    Our turn, Pompous.

    It takes a lib to use spelling & grammar errors in order to try and defeat people who want to see that discussions take place on both sides of the fence.

    You know, some of us write these things late at night or early in the morning, after or before our day jobs.

    It’s the THOUGHTS that count, but then it’s nice to know that you have learned how to walk on water. 🙂



  12. DAVE LEY said at 12:26 pm on May 28th, 2011:

    I feel the Neptune board is wrong,and once again politial correctness wins.I would not want that board making discisions where I live.I can not understand how one person can overule a majority.When you compromise with what is right; you always lose.The board set a bad example for the kids.I find the board cowardly,and disgusting. I really belive you just did the kids a great harm,by bowing to the ACLU.I find the board actions,will someday make the town pay,and pay dearly.