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Religious displays in a Missouri school district removed (September 4, 2019)

Several religious displays in a Missouri school district will be removed due to a letter of complaint from FFRF.

A concerned Willard Public Schools parent reported multiple constitutional violations occurring in the district. The complainant reports that Willard Central Elementary School displayed multiple posters with religious messages, including a poster instructing students to “Trust in God,” an image of hands clasped in prayer, and a poster that directly quoted the bible and instructed students to be an example of believers through their faith. Additionally, the complainant reported that a librarian at Willard Intermediate School signs her official school emails with a bible verse, “But He said to me, my grace is sufficient for you: 2 Cor 12:9.”

FFRF Staff Attorney Chris Line wrote to the district’s attorney, informing it that in recognition of the district’s constitutional obligation not to promote or endorse religion, it must remove these religious displays from the elementary school and instruct district employees to refrain from including bible verses in their email signatures.

The district’s legal representation sent a letter of response to FFRF:

“In the present case, the district is willing to direct district employees to refrain from the use of scriptural passages on official district stationary. Furthermore, the display of wall hangings without context, using scriptural references will be removed.”