Saturday, April 10, 2010

7 year old boy Returns Stolen Money

Click to read original Story from Fox 59

RICHMOND, IN - A seven year-old boy found a folder full of stolen money cashed from security checks at a local non-profit agency. He knew he couldn't keep it, he said it was the right thing to return the money to its rightful owners.
A seven year-old boy made a huge discovery on the side of Interstate 70 in Richmond. Gregory Payne III, who lives in Catlettsburg, Kentucky was visiting his grandmother in Richmond, Ind. for spring break when he noticed something beyond her backyard.
He said he was cleaning, when he spotted folders beyond the fence near the interstate.
"I thought it was somebody's homework," said Payne.
Inside the folders he found documents and $1400 in cash.
"What would be the right thing to do?" his mother asked.
Gregory told his mom he felt he should return the money. The folders had been stolen from a safe at the non-profit Achieva Resources just a few blocks away. Achieva provides assisted living for the developmentally disabled and helps children with disabilities.
"I would have loved to have kept it but I wanted to do the right thing," said the soft spoken young man.
"The first thing I thought was a seven year-old old boy to be that honest it was amazing," said Dan Stewart, CEO of Achieva.
The money had just been cashed from eight of the disabled residents social security checks. Stewart said some of the money had been deposited in the bank but the cash was meant for spending money for things like food and clothing.
Achieva held a special celebration to thank Gregory for his selfless act returning the money and gave him a $100 reward.
His mom, Stephanie Mann, was extremely proud.
"These people really have very little, so to take anything away from them was so sad, but to be able to give it back was even sweeter," said Stephanie Mann.
Her son clearly felt good about his decision.
Gregory's lesson: "Always do the right thing."

Copyright © 2010, WXIN-TV, Indianapolis

Indiana School Students Fight to Keep Prayer at Graduation

An Indiana public school board is not giving up its school prayer without a fight.

In a rare decision, Greenwood High School is fighting to keep its years-long tradition of holding a student-led prayer during graduation ceremonies.

"For us to just kowtow and just say, 'Yes, sir. Sorry, sir,' well, we're not going to do that," said school board president Joe Farley. "This board is prepared to take on the courts."

In September, members of Greenwood's senior class gathered in the auditorium to vote on whether to include a prayer in their graduation ceremony. The majority of students voted in favor of the prayer. Eric Workman, this year's top-ranked student and expected valedictorian, voted against it.

Last month, hoping to quash the tradition permanently before his May 28 commencement, Workman, now 18, filed a lawsuit with the backing of the Indiana branch of the ACLU against the school district and the high school principal.

This is just one of many similar instances of school-prayer-related controversy unfolding in districts across the country; in almost every case, prayer in school has come up short.

• In 2000, the Supreme Court ruled that students at a Texas public high school could not vote to approve holding student-led prayers over the public address system during school football games.

• In 1992, a Supreme Court ruling outlawed prayers by clergy at public school graduations.

• Non-denominational prayer has also been deemed unconstitutional.

"A lot of these schools, to avoid lawsuits or fights, will settle or change their practices," said Charles Haynes, senior scholar for the Freedom Forum First Amendment Center in Washington, D.C., referencing a case in Florida last year in which a complaint by a student immediately resulted in an apology and reversal in school policy district-wide.

Last month, student-led prayer offered daily through the public address system at Alabama's Alexandria High School stopped after a student questioned its legality.

"A lot of school districts take the path of least resistance," Haynes said.

The Greenwood school board president says he's well aware of what has transpired in other districts. But he said the board, with the support of the community, is prepared to spend tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars to get a formal ruling from the courts. The school is expected to present its arguments in Indiana's federal Southern District at the end of the month.

"I think one of the reasons why people go along with the flow is you're dealing with a student and taxpayers' money. Then the ACLU gets involved and they're expecting the school to pay for everything, and you don't want to put the funds at risk.  But there just comes a time when you just have to stand up," Farley said.

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