FFRF halts Ark. teacher’s religious promotion (April 15, 2013)

Thanks to the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a math teacher at an Arkansas high school will no longer promote or discuss her religion in class.

FFRF was informed that the teacher regularly proselytized her captive audience of students at Harmony Grove High School in Benton, Ark. She made them listen to Christian radio and frequently held discussions during class time about her church and church groups, and a television show about the bible. She had placed religious displays around her classroom, including multiple bible quote displays and ceiling tiles with bible quotes.

FFRF Staff Attorney Patrick Elliott contacted Harmony Grove School District Superintendent Daniel Henley in an April 11 letter requesting the teacher stop ostracizing and proselytizing, and remove the religious displays from her classroom.

“Public school students are a captive audience and should not have to view materials promoting religious messages or listen to their math teacher expound on her private religious beliefs,” he said.

Elliott also assured the district that this is not a free speech issue, because public school teachers cannot use their position to expose a captive audience to personal religious beliefs.

Henley responded in an April 15 letter informing FFRF that the teacher in question had been instructed to remove the religious displays from her classroom and will not discuss religion.

Freedom From Religion Foundation