The Way Things Ought to Be – Not! An Update on the Case of the Boy Who Was Forbidden to Read Limbaugh in School

This Rutherford Institute March 1997 press release brings the public up-to-date on what happened to the little boy in Virginia who was forbidden to read Rush Limbaugh’s book during an open reading period in public school.


March 25, 1997

John W. Whitehead
Founder and President


For Immediate Release
Press Contact:
Wayne Haig (540) 982-1755 or David Melton (804) 978-3888
E-Mail: [email protected]


Teacher Censored Oliver North Bumper Sticker, Limbaugh Letter and Political Pin

Bedford County, Va.-The Rutherford Institute yesterday asked a federal district court to allow an amended complaint in the “Rush Limbaugh” case which reveals that not only did school employees censor Limbaugh’s book “The Way Things Ought to Be” (included in the original complaint), but other conservative material as well.

Teachers told Jason Gardner, a fourth-grader at Montvale Elementary School, to remove an Oliver North bumper sticker from his book bag and required him to remove a pin which opposed the Clinton/Gore ticket in order to receive a better evaluation on an assignment. In addition, they refused to lot him read the “Limbaugh Letter,” Rush Limbaugh’s monthly newsletter, during recreational reading time. This information was not revealed in the original complaint.

“We are deeply concerned about these additional infringements,” said Wayne Haig of Donald W. Huffman & Associates, who is handling the case for The Rutherford Institute. “School should be a place which tolerates the free discussion of different views and beliefs.”

The original complaint included an incident in which teachers took Rush Limbaugh’s “The Way Things Ought To Be” away from Jason when he attempted to read it during a free-reading period.

“There is no tyranny quite like the tyranny of the classroom,” said Haig, “where a teacher uses her authority to censor the small voices of children with viewpoints contrary to her own. As far as school children am concerned, the teacher is the law in the classroom, and there is normally no watchdog to guard the constitutional rights of the students, We commend the Gardners for taking a stand.”

The Rutherford Institute is an international, nonprofit civil liberties organization specializing in the defense of religious liberty.


P.O. Box 7482, Charlottesville, VA, 22906-7482
Phone(804) 978-3888 Facsimile (804) 978-1799
E-mail: [email protected]

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a communications and research foundation supportive of a strong national defense and dedicated to providing free market solutions to today’s public policy problems. We believe that the principles of a free market, individual liberty and personal responsibility provide the greatest hope for meeting the challenges facing America in the 21st century.