Find SHoWLE on Discord

Starting today you can find a SHoWLE community server on the Discord platform. Participation is free and open to anyone who wants to participate but it does require an invitation.

You need to create an account on Discord. You will need to install the Discord app or use the browser version to access the group.

The good news the invites are free. A limited time one is with this post. If it is expired feel free to reach out to us and ask for an invite. If you are a member of SHoWLE you get a special invite and get a special role on the server.

This is just another social media platform to have some discussions and fun outside formal meetings. It is moderated and there are some rules for the group. (this link will expire after April 4, 2024. Just reach out to us for another if it is expired or check the social media links menu.

Judge Rules Against Catholic Families in Sylvania Bus Dispute

Images of Sylvania school bus

On Tuesday 3/19, Lucas county Judge Stacy Cook ruled that the Sylvania City School District bus transportation plan for students of non-public schools doesn’t violate Ohio law or constitution.

Back in 2022, a couple of families that send their children to a catholic school in Sylvania, filed a lawsuit because their children had to be picked up hours before their school started, transported with older students, then dropped off at a high school to transfer to another bus, to arrive at their catholic school. The parents thought it was unlawful and violated the equal protection and religious freedom clauses of the Ohio constitution.

From the ruling:

“The evidence submitted by plaintiffs consist of several affidavits by the parties and a nonparty spouse. These affidavits recite that they choose Catholic education because of their personal Catholic faith. The affidavits also recite the various inconveniences the Plaintiffs and their children face because of the District’s transportation scheme. However, the Court finds that Plaintiffs have offered no evidence of any coercive effects on their religious practice: there is no evidence that the transportation plan has compelled Plaintiffs to do anything forbidden by their religion or that it has caused them to refrain from doing something required by their religion. Plaintiffs have also not offered any evidence that the transportation plan has compelled them to affirm or disavow a belief forbidden or required by their religion. Accordingly, the Court finds that Plaintiffs have failed to demonstrate any coercive effect upon their religious practice. The Plaintiffs have therefore failed to show that Defendants’ transportation plan violates their right to free exercise of religion under the Ohio Constitution.

The Court finds against Plaintiffs as to their claim that Defendants’ transportation plan violates their right to free exercise of religion under the Ohio Constitution. Again, the presumption that a legislative act is constitutional applies to the Board’s transportation plan. With this presumption the Court finds in favor of Defendants as to Plaintiffs’ free exercise claim.”


Both parties had asked for a summary judgement since the facts in the case weren’t in dispute. In the original lawsuit the families asked the court for an injunction to order the school district to “fix” the transportation plan. Judge Cook said the court couldn’t do that, it could only rule if the district’s act was lawful and not unconstitutional.

The original lawsuit was dismissed by the parents on August 30, 2022. Parents refiled on September 16, 2022 and asked for class action status and removed all references to the 1st amendment to keep it out of Federal court. The class action was never certified.

A lawyer for the families, who was one of the plaintiffs when the lawsuit had been filed in August 2022 but dropped out in September of 2022, stated they were probably going to appeal the ruling.

Additional information on this story is in the Toledo Blade behind a paywall. Images of the article is below.

New Membership Level Added

During our members meeting, I was asked about a Student rate for membership. I said at the time we didn’t have a formal student level but we would never turn away a potential member who couldn’t afford the current full membership dues.

Today I announce we now have a Student/Fixed Income membership level. On the Join page, scroll down for the link then when you get taken to the sign-up page one of the levels available at the bottom is for Students and those on fixed incomes.

People won’t need to ask for the special rate and will be able to select it when they sign up.

The change needs to be confirmed by the Board so assume that level has all the same benefits of the full price. If the lower amount is still too much we also accept volunteer time and donations in-kind (like sharing a skill or donating an item you aren’t using).

— Doug

President of SHoWLE

Humanists Respond To Proposed Laws

The Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie has submitted written testimony to the Ohio Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee concerning two bills before the committee. One would allow the legislature to override executive orders issued by the Governor and the second would add more regulations to people needing public assistance. SHoWLE opposes both bills.

Senate Bill 17

Makes several changes to the SNAP (aka Food Stamps) and Medicaid programs. It prohibits the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services from adapting SNAP eligibility rules for situations like having a pandemic. It also changes SNAP to a reporting system where the person getting the benifit would have to report ANY change in their income. For example, most people on SNAP work. They would have to report any extra shifts they pick up even if the income overall wouldn’t put them over a threshold.

Another bad change is requiring able body people on Medicaid to work at least 20 hours a week. A good number of people on Medicaid work so this change would hurt those, while not disabled, still shouldn’t be working. There is also a question about if a work requirement is allowed since the Biden Administration just recently rescinded all waivers for the requirement.

Click HERE if the embeded letter can’t be seen above

Senate Bill 22

This bill would allow the General Assembly to rescind any executive order made by the Governor or any emergency order by any state agency such as public health orders dealing with a pandemic that come from the Ohio Department of Health.

Even if there wasn’t a constitutional question about this proposed law, SHoWLE believes that allowing the legislature to ignore science and medical experts to end public health orders is a danger to all Ohioans. The legislature has undermined the response to the COVID-19 pandemic that has killed at least 12,000 people in the state and almost half a million in the US. It is simply wrong to politicize the lives and safety of the citizens of Ohio.

SHoWLE believes Ohio would be in a much better position had the state continued to do the right thing in addressing the pandemic rather than giving in to the selfish and science denying members of the legislature. SB 22 will make things much worse now and in the future.

Click HERE if the embeded letter can’t be seen above

SHoWLE will continue to keep track of and respond to public laws and policies that are of interest to the group or fits our mission statement and purpose. Laws and policies that not only effect church and state issues but also social justice issues will be responded to as well.

If you feel as we do about these two bills, we ask that you contact your state Senator and let them know how you feel about SB 17 and SB 22.

*Update* SB 22 passed the committee and the Senate on 2/17. The bill now moves on to the House.

House Bill 90

A companion to SB 22 was introduced in the Ohio House and is now in the State and Local Government Committee.

Here is the letter I sent to the committee opposing HB 90:

Click HERE if the embeded letter can’t be seen above

We’ve Adopted A Family For The Holidays

This year SHoWLE has been given a family to sponsor for the holidays through Lucas County Children’s Services. We will be helping out a 4 year old named DJ and his father Derrick.

If you would like to purchase a gift to donate just check out the needs and wants for the child and father and let Bev know what you plan to purchase so we can avoid duplication. (send her an email at

Bev will also be hosting a wrap party at her house on Saturday December 12 at 1 PM to wrap the gifts in a socially distant and safe manner. If you can donate wrapping paper or ribbon that would be appreciated. Please contact Bev for more information on the party.

We Made A Mistake

Thanks to a member, we found out we had a mistake in our treasury reporting. It involved how we reported donations coming from people using PayPal. No donations were lost, only the summaries we created didn’t record the donations as donations. Fiscal Year 2020 has been corrected where the issue occurred and summaries that have been updated are marked with “Corrected”on our Monthly Treasury Summary page. Fiscal Year 2019 will be checked this weekend and summaries will be corrected if needed.

Continue reading “We Made A Mistake”