FFRF keeps religion out of Chino Valley schools (February 2, 2023)

The Freedom From Religion Foundation commends the Chino Valley school district in California for acknowledging a recent First Amendment violation by a board member — and working to correct it.

Two concerned Chino Valley USD employees reported to FFRF that school board member James Na distributed Christmas cards with a religious message to employees, which were printed and delivered to teachers’ boxes using school resources. The card included a poem advancing Christianity: “May peace be before you at every meal /And faith ring through every song /For Christ is alive the light of the world /May he bless you all season long.”

FFRF Staff Attorney Chris Line wrote a letter to the school district’s legal counsel. “As the Supreme Court has put it, ‘The First Amendment mandates governmental neutrality between religion and religion, and between religion and nonreligion.’”

As the cards were produced and distributed using school funds, and created by a school board member, FFRF was concerned that the Chino Valley USD was actively promoting Christianity.

The district’s legal counsel has responded to FFRF’s concern in a sincerely remedying way.

According to a letter from the legal counsel, the district conducted a direct investigation, and concluded that the card should not have been distributed using district resources. Additionally, FFRF was assured that the district has taken steps to prevent future such incidents.


Freedom From Religion Foundation