School Employee Unmoved By Matthew in John

“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Some astride the porcelain throne may have been moved by that sentiment (Matthew: 19-26) in a staff bathroom, but at least one Holloman Primary School employee wasn’t. The school is on Holloman Air Force Base near Alamogordo, N.M.

The employee filed a grievance with Alamogordo Public Schools, which operates the facility, and alerted the Freedom From Religion Foundation about a bible on a bathroom stand and bible verses posted on a bathroom bulletin board. The grievance also took issue with:

Airing of a religious CD over the school intercom during a 15-minute “test” of the system.

Prayer, which invoked Jesus’ name, by school Principal Jerry Lott before and after the meal during a school Christmas party in December.

Rebecca Kratz, FFRF attorney, wrote the district that the bathroom display gives “the appearance of District endorsement of religion over nonreligion, but it also impermissibly demonstrates the District’s preference for Christianity to all other faiths.”

After the employee and the Foundation took a stand for church-state separation, the district responded: “The Bible and the sayings have been removed. . . .We agree that it is improper to favor one religion over another in a public school.” The district wouldn’t comment on any other actions taken with the principal “as it is a personnel matter.”

The same employee filed a grievance against Lott in April, alleging he made this comment: “That’s what I like to see, a woman on her knees.”

Judy Jones, district Human Resources director, said the issue has been discussed with Lott, but that she couldn’t reveal specifics. “However, you can be assured that I view this type of comment as unprofessional and it is not condoned in any way by the administration of this district,” Jones wrote to the employee.

Freedom From Religion Foundation