FFRF remove religious symbols in elementary classroom (January 14, 2014)

FFRF was informed that a classroom in Southside Elementary School in Pulaski, Tenn., displayed numerous prominent images of Jesus and crosses. FFRF sent a letter on Dec. 17 to Giles County Superintendent Timothy Webb explaining that teachers may not promote religion in the secular classroom.

“Public schools have a constitutional obligation to remain neutral toward religion,” FFRF Staff Attorney Andrew Seidel informed the district.The schoolteacher has “unconstitutionally entangled the school itself with a religious message, specifically a Christian message. To avoid continuing to violate the Establishment Clause, we ask the teacher to remove the crosses and images of Jesus from her classroom. ”

The school district replied on Dec. 19, 2013 to FFRF’s request to take the religious images down by issuing a memo to the principals and supervisors of Giles County School District.

“(Staff Attorney Seidel) who sent the letter on behalf of FFRF, after citing several Supreme Court decisions, stated that the law required that public schools not promote or prefer religions. The situation mentioned in the complaint has been addressed. Please remind your staff of the federal requirements in matters such as this.”

The district assured FFRF the religious symbols would no longer be displayed in the elementary school classroom.

Freedom From Religion Foundation