The Antwerp Local School District in Ohio will no longer include religious messages in school assemblies thanks to a complaint from FFRF.
The District hosted a Veterans Day assembly, which included a flag folding ceremony and a recitation of “The Meaning Behind the Folding Ceremonies of the Flag,” a discredited religious narrative which explains the “meaning” of each of the twelve folds of the flag. This narrative includes blatant Christian dogma, such as the “meaning” of the twelfth fold, which is said to represent and glorify “God the Father, The Son, and Holy Ghost.”
In a Nov. 17 letter, FFRF staff attorney Stephanie Schmitt warned, “religious messages as part of a school-sponsored activity are illegal and inappropriate.” She also argued that the reading “further perpetuates the myth that there are no ‘atheists in foxholes’ and that the only veterans worth memorializing are Christians.”
On Aug. 9 Kimball Carey, attorney for the school district, informed Schmitt that the principal who organized the assembly did not realize the content of the narrative. Carey assured FFRF that their complaint was heard and understood, and this would not happen again in the Antwerp Schools.