Mobile Menu

Alabama elementary students won’t “See You At The Pole” (Dec. 22, 2014)

Thanks to the Freedom From Religion Foundation, teachers and church groups will not be permitted to lead religious events at Athens Elementary School in Athens, Ala.

In 2013, a local church group was permitted to lead a “See You At The Pole” gathering, a Christian prayer event, at the school. The school’s athletic coach reportedly led students in prayer at the event.

Staff Attorney Andrew Seidel sent Superintendent Trey Holladay a letter on Oct. 9, 2013, noting that public school employees “must refrain from actively participating in religious activities while acting within their governmental role to avoid any perception of government endorsement of religion.”

“It is especially inappropriate for churches to be granted access to elementary school students, who are made a captive audience at an age when they are particularly impressionable and intellectually incapable of making their own decisions regarding religious observance.”

An attorney for the district responded in December, informing FFRF that no See You At The Pole events had occurred since FFRF’s letter.