Until October, Hokes Bluff High School in Etowah County, Ala., began school mornings with student-led recitations of bible passages over the school’s intercommunications system, a regimen approved by school administration. A concerned student reported this practice to FFRF, and staff attorney Andrew Seidel followed up by sending a letter on Sept. 24 to Superintendent Alan Cosby.
FFRF Staff Attorney Andrew Seidel noted that such bible readings are illegal and a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
“Nothing in the law prevents students, teachers, or school employees from freely exercising their religion on their own time and in their own way. But a public school itself must not broadcast a decidedly religious message to a captive student audience, thereby isolating and excluding those students who are non-Christian or nonreligious,” offered Seidel.
FFRF has not received a reply directly from the district regarding these accusations, but the complainant informed us, “As of now they have not been doing ‘daily devotions’ ” and no longer have students read the announcements.