FFRF tells Georgia school ‘nothing fails like prayer’ (Oct. 30, 2012)

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has stopped the Cherokee County School District (Canton, Ga.) from including religious messages on anti-drug ribbons during “Red Ribbon Week.”

During a special drug prevention week, the Cherokee County School District distributed ribbons to students with a religious message: “God answers prayers, drugs don’t.” The ribbons also featured an image of two hands praying. Students were instructed to pin the ribbon to their clothing, despite objections. A concerned parent brought this violation to FFRF and Staff Attorney Andrew Seidel sent an Oct. 26 letter to Superintendent Frank Petruzielo. Seidel asked that the superintendent “remain sensitive to the diverse religious and nonreligious views of students and staff.”

“While the anti-drug concept is laudable, the injection of religion into the public schools is unconstitutional. Government actors must be especially careful to remain neutral on matters of religion in the public school context,” wrote Seidel.

A school district attorney replied to FFRF’s complaint on Oct. 30: “. . . staff has been counseled to be more careful in the future in giving even an appearance of promoting religion.”

Freedom From Religion Foundation