After receiving a letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, South Bloomfield Elementary School (Ashville, Ohio) will no longer be permitted to pass out religious flyers to its young students.
A concerned parent contacted FFRF when her child brought home an advertisement for “A Night in Bethlehem,” an event organized by a church and featuring a live nativity scene, Christmas music, and religiously-themed activities. Staff Attorney Andrew Seidel contacted the school on Dec.12, 2013, reminding the school of its constitutional obligation to remain neutral toward religion, and pointing out that religious flyers “waste the time and resources of paid school personnel” and that distributing them forces “teachers of diverse views and beliefs to distribute religious promotional materials.”
Superintendent Jeff Sheets wrote in a Dec. 23 response that the district had a policy not to send any third-party communications home with students, and that he had informed the South Bloomfield principal, who was new, of this policy. He also stated that he would reiterate the policy to all residents in the district and review the school board policy.