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Texas district addresses numerous violations (November 1, 2018)

A Texas school district has addressed multiple state/church violations after hearing from FFRF.

A community member contacted FFRF to report that employees of Whitney Middle School in Plano have promoted multiple religious events to students this year. Teachers reportedly used the school’s public address system to remind students about “Bring Your Bible to School Day.” Other events promoted by the school include a Christian revival event called “Fields of Faith” and the Christian-oriented prayer rally “See You at the Pole.” School employees also apparently have participated in these events alongside students. All of these events appeared to have been promoted, in part, at the request of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), which is a private club operating at the school.

“We write to ensure that the district does not allow its employees to organize, promote or participate in future religious events while acting on behalf of the district,” wrote FFRF Associate Counsel Sam Grover in his Oct. 30 letter to the legal firm representing the district. “Additionally, the district must take steps to disassociate itself from the FCA and ensure that its employees are not promoting their personal religious beliefs to students.”

The district’s attorneys replied, assuring FFRF that all of the complaints had been addressed by the schools. The superintendent passed on the message that both “Bring Your Bible to School Day” and “See You at the Pole” events are not to be officially promoted or endorsed by the school. Additionally, the FCA webpage was taken off the school website.