After FFRF complaint, NJ teachers no longer swear to God (July 11, 2011)

On August 25, 2010, FFRF Staff Attorney Patrick Elliott wrote a letter of complaint on behalf of a teacher to the New Jersey Department of Education to object to the following “Oath of Allegiance/Verification of Accuracy” on its teacher licensure form: “I, ______, do solemnly swear, (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of New Jersey, and that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same and to the governments established in the United States and in this State, under the authority of the people, so help me God.”

Elliott noted that the oath doesn’t allow an appropriate alternative for teachers with no belief in a god or teachers who adhere to religions such as Jehovah’s Witness. FFRF got a response on July 11, 2011 from Acting Education Commissioner Christopher Cerf, confirming that the department has added a nonreligious affirmation, which omits “so help me God,” to its form.

Freedom From Religion Foundation