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Freethought Today · May 2013

Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

FFRF complaint removes commandments in Kentucky

Numerous framed postings of the Ten Commandments have come down in Breathitt County Schools in Jackson, Ky. Staff Attorney Patrick Elliott wrote a complaint letter April 5 to Larry Hammond, manager for the school system, about the flagrant violations of the Establishment Clause in the high school, middle school and several elementary schools.

FFRF requested that all principals be directed to remove the Ten Commandments. “The Supreme Court ruled on this very issue over 30 years ago. It is unacceptable that a public school system would willfully violate the Constitution in this manner in 2013,” said Annie Laurie Gaylor, FFRF co-president.

The Supreme Court ruled in Stone v. Graham in 1980 that posting the Ten Commandments in Kentucky schools was motivated by a religious purpose and is unconstitutional.

A Breathitt student informed FFRF on April 11 that many of the displays had been removed.

Hammond was appointed by the Kentucky Department of Education to oversee the troubled school system. It was reported that the department issued a statement agreeing that the displays violated the Constitution.

WYMT-TV later confirmed that school officials said they had complied with FFRF’s request, which made former restaurant owner Mary Campbell unhappy. “I am totally against it. I think that we need the Ten Commandments in the schools. I think all kids should learn it.”

FFRF is a non-profit, educational organization. All dues and donations are deductible for income-tax purposes.

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