On behalf of an area resident who complained, the Freedom From Religion Foundation has asked the Howard-Suamico School District near Green Bay, Wis., to remove a segment showing a Christian cross from a recent promotional video.
The video, showcased on the district's Web site, is titled "I've Got a Place." Superintendent Damian LaCroix says in the video, "Howard-Suamico is a great place to live, to work and to raise a family." As he says the word "family," a large cross appears on the screen, as though Christians have a monopoly on family values.
In her Feb. 19 letter, FFRF Staff Attorney Rebecca Markert asked the superintendent to immediately remove the religious imagery from the promotional video. "Certainly," she wrote, "given the immense amount of footage shown in the nine-minute video, there are more appropriate, secular images to display while discussing the benefits of raising a family in your district."
The video's intent is to promote a school district, not a church! Even if other religious symbols were included in the video (which they are not), the message would still be clear that the district values religion over nonreligion, even though 15% of the population identifies as nonreligious (American Religious Identification Survey, 2008). The cross in the video sends a message to students, parents, and other residents of the area that Christianity is the preferred religion of the Howard-Suamico School District, and that Howard-Suamico is a Christian community.
There is no need for a secular, taxpayer-funded public school district to promote one religion over all others!
Superintendent Damian LaCroix
2700 Lineville Road
Green Bay WI 54313
Action Alert by Bonnie Gutsch