A principal will no longer be able to proselytize to the staff at Deaf Smith Elementary School in Rosenberg, Texas, in weekly newsletters, thanks to the action taken by the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
FFRF Staff Attorney Stephanie Schmitt sent a letter on Nov. 12 to Lamar Consolidated Independent School District Superintendent Thomas Randle alerting the district to the principal's First Amendment violation. Schmitt wrote that the Friday newsletters, called “Friday Focus,” “regularly include bible verses, biblical references, and sermon-like discussions that reference Jesus and present biblical stories as fact.” The staff member complained to FFRF that the newsletter had turned into a “Sunday sermon.”
Randle responded in a Nov. 15 letter, which reported the district investigated the issue and found the religious newsletters were not in accord with the district's practice. The principal had been instructed to stop putting religious references in staff communications and the district will review his newsletters before they are sent to the school's staff, Randle said.