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Port Leyden School Board Backs Elimination of Religious Ads

The Central School Board of the village of Port Leyden, a town near here with a population of 900, issued a ruling this weekend forbidding the printing of any advertisements in this year’s issue of the Port Leyden High School’s Christian tract from the New Testament. With the cancellation of all advertising in the yearbook, the board eliminated also advertisements inserted by several taverns in the vicinity.

The dispute arose when Lawrence Brinkerhoff, of Port Leyden, submitted copy for his advertisement, quoting from the Book of Romans. The local school superintendent ruled that the quotation constituted a religious tract and was therefore not eligible for use in a school publication. Mr. Brinkerhoff was supported by a local Baptist minister who placed an ad of his own, also quoting from the Psalms. While Mr. Brinkerhoff threatened to take issue to court, the School Board upheld the superintendent’s ruling. In his protest, Mr. Brinkerhoff told the board that the ruling was “anti-God.”

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