A concerned parent contacted FFRF to report that their child received a bag of toys and candy from Eugene Field Elementary School in Oklahoma City that also contained religious messages.
The gifts were accompanied by a note, which explained, “Have a wonderful Christmas! We pray that your weeks are filled with joy and love! And, we hope you enjoy these gifts.” The note included a bible verse.
FFRF Staff Attorney Chris Line requested that Superintendent Sean McDaniel take corrective action and train district staff on their constitutional duties as public school employees.
In response to the FFRF’s letter, the general counsel for Oklahoma City Public Schools wrote that it was determined that a volunteer family placed the note in the backpack “unbeknownst to the community partner and the school.” The principal was then counseled on the religious parameters and told that this could not happen again and such a message violates students’ religious freedoms.