‘No sweat’ says legal staff after ‘race day’ complaint sprint

These FFRF complaint letters were all drafted on Friday, Nov. 21, as part of a legal staff “race day” to get out as many letters as possible. They were edited and sent out over the following week. Legal staff sent out dozens more letters during the month. Contact: Elk Grove Unified School District, Calif.

Violation: After a church’s sign was taken down from school property pursuant to an FFRF letter, our local complainant reported the sign was back up.

Contact: Miamisburg City Schools, Ohio; Zeeland Public Schools, Mich.; Madison County Schools, Fla.; Hardy County Schools, W.Va.; Willard Public Schools, Mo.

Violation: These districts conducted bible distributions in schools. In Zeeland, a teacher reportedly stood by the table with the bibles and “told the kids she would like each one to take a bible home.”

Contact: Paso Robles School Board, Calif.

Violation: The board was considering implementing prayers at meetings.

Contact: Colleton County School District, S.C.

Violation: A district-wide mandatory employee meeting, where students were also present, included a prayer.

Contact: Fish City Grill, Katy, Texas

Violation: The restaurant offered a church bulletin discount.

Contact: Wisconsin Department of Corrections

Violation: The department secretary delivered a prayer at a Veterans Day event.

Contact: U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, Calif. Violation: FFRF sent a records request regarding a SWAT training exercise that included a scenario where a “militant atheist extremist group” took hostages at a church.

Contact: Bibb County Schools District, Centreville, Ala.

Violation: Students at Randolph Elementary School went on a field trip to a church-owned pumpkin patch, where they were given name tags reading “Hay there, Jesus loves you” with a bible verse underneath. Bible verses also adorned students’ finger paintings and the fence where they took a class photo.

Contact: Temecula Valley Unified School District, Calif.

Violation: Good News Club signs were displayed outside LaVorgna Elementary and Temecula Valley Charter School.

Contact: Eufaula Public Schools, Okla.


Violation: FFRF submitted a records request after receiving a report that a church was permitted to use a school facility for free.

Contact: Franklin County District Schools, Eastpoint, Fla.

Violation: The district employs a team chaplain, who, along with coaches, leads students in prayer in the locker rooms and at practices and games.

Contact: Gulf Coast Charter Academy South, Naples, Fla.

Violation: Children were taught a song about angels and praying, the chorus of which was something to the effect of “I believe in angels sent down from heaven.”

Contact: Autauga County School System, Prattville, Ala.

Violation: Two Prattville Primary School teachers led students in Christian prayer during the school day.

Contact: St. Clairsville Schools, Ohio

Violation: The St. Clairsville High School fall sports banquet included a religious invocation and benediction

Contact: Wylie ISD, Texas

Violation: Several teachers’ Web pages on the district’s site had inappropriate religious references.

Contact: Okaloosa County School District, Fort Walton Beach, Fla.

Violation: Bob Sikes Elementary School’s music teacher taught students many religious songs and a lesson on the birth of Jesus to accompany the song “Away in a Manger.” Contact: Algoma School District, Wis.

Violation: Algoma Elementary holds a “bible lesson” in the cafeteria each week. FFRF requested records related to the lessons.

Contact: Collin County Clerk’s Office, Texas

Violation: A tax collection clerk includes a religious signature line in her messages to residents from her county email: “Living He loved us, dying He saved us.”

Contact: Waskom ISD, Texas

Violation: The district was featured in a local news article that claimed the district “focuses on faith-based living,” describing how the district organizes prayers at many events and allows Gideons to distribute bibles that parents must opt out of if they do not want their child to get one.

Contact: Green Forest Public Schools, Ark.

Violation: Green Forest High School included prayer at a mandatory Veterans Day assembly. Contact: Corsicana ISD, Texas

Violation: High school football games, faculty meetings, the faculty end-of-year awards ceremony and graduation ceremonies all include prayer.

Contact: Davidson County Schools, Lexington, N.C.

Violation: A West Davidson High School history teacher inserts his Christian views into nearly all aspects of the curriculum, commenting that “the Earth is only a few thousand years old” and referring to dates occurring in “the year of our Lord and Savior.”

Contact: Manchester City Schools, Tenn.

Violation: Westwood Middle School faculty participated in a “See You at the Pole” prayer event. A mandatory district in-service also included prayer, at which employees were instructed to bow their heads and join.

Contact: Marshall County School District, Benton, Ky.

Violation: A flier for a program called “Kids in Training” at Benton First United Methodist Church was distributed to parents with school forms. No fliers for any other activities were distributed.

Contact: Madison County School District, Miss.

Violation: Many classroom doors at Madison Station Elementary have religious messages sent in by parents posted on them. Many contain bible quotes or tell students and teachers things like “you are being prayed for.”

Contact: St. Elmo School District, Ill.

Violation: Four signs reading “Plow the Land / Plant the Seed / Love Our God / Follow His Creed” were posted along a fence on school property.

Contact: Calcasieu Parish Public Schools, Lake Charles, La.

Violation: FFRF sent a records request to find out more about what appeared to be a teacher-run bible club.

Contact: Merced City School District, Calif.

Violation: Students at Ada Givens Elementary were instructed to put their hands together as if in prayer during the line “What’s more American than praying in a church of your choice across the land?” while singing the Bing Crosby song “What’s More American?”

Contact: City of Saraland and Saraland Police Department, Ala.

Violation: The department employs a chaplain, who is also billed as the “city chaplain” on a business card.

Contact: Ozark Public Schools, Ark.

Violation: An Ozark High School student led prayers over the school’s loudspeaker before football games.

Contact: Grapevine Colleyville ISD, Texas

Violation: Cross Timbers Middle School partnered with Grace Christmas Cottage, a Christian group, to run a holiday gift program. A school representative encouraged participants to attend an open house put on by the religious group.

Contact: Marion County Public Schools, Ocala, Fla.

Violation: Dunnellon High School’s football program employs a team chaplain, who was photographed praying with players and cheerleaders after a game.

Contact: Lanier County Schools, Lakeland, Ga.

Violation: Lanier County Primary School held a Thanksgiving feast where an adult led attendees, including students, in prayer.

Contact: Waupaca County Sheriff’s Department, Wis.

Violation: The department’s website hosts a religious poem titled “The Final Inspection,” which opens with the line “The policeman stood and faced his God,” and goes on to describe a conversation between God and a policeman where the policeman is judged and allowed to enter heaven.

Contact: Coatesville Area School District, Thorndale, Pa.

Violation: A high school choir performs an annual “Christmas Carol Service,” a solemn, Mass-like concert which consists almost entirely of Christian hymns and songs. Contact: Watchung Borough School District, N.J.

Violation: A minister was invited to give an invocation and benediction at the district’s Veterans Day ceremony.

Contact: Howard-Suamico School District, Green Bay, Wis.

Violation: Staff prayed with students during a “See You at the Pole” event.

Freedom From Religion Foundation