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Godly broadcast removed from Pennsylvania school district (April 17, 2019)

A Pennsylvania school district has removed a godly broadcast tagged on to the Pledge of Allegiance after hearing from FFRF.

A concerned Springfield School District parent informed FFRF that Sabold Elementary School had been proclaiming “God Bless America” over the loudspeaker following the Pledge of Allegiance each morning.

FFRF asked that the school’s practice of decreeing “God Bless America” each day immediately stop.

“The repeated recitation of a religious message in the school setting violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, which prohibits public schools from advancing, supporting or promoting religion,” FFRF Legal Fellow Chris Line wrote to Superintendent Anthony Barber. “‘God Bless America’ is a prayer. The song that the phrase originates from begins, ‘As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer.’ A prayer hosted by a publicly supported school does not pass constitutional muster.”

FFRF’s message met with receptive ears from Springfield School District officials.

“After the school district’s receipt of your letter, Sabold Elementary School has ceased its practice of announcing the slogan ‘God Bless America’ over the loudspeaker immediately following the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance,” the school district’s legal counsel recently wrote back. “None of the schools in the school district currently engages in this practice.”