FFRF intervened after a teacher at Metro West Learning Academy in Iowa was reported to have been playing Christian music in the background of classes. The music had lyrics such as “I put my faith in Jesus” and “my savior.”
“No public school employee may urge religious points of view on students. Students are especially susceptible to the coercive influence of messages from authority figures, such as teachers,” wrote FFRF Legal Fellow Karen Heineman to Mike Moran, director of Metro West Learning. “Parents, not teachers, have the right to direct the religious, or nonreligious, upbringing of their children.”
The Metro West Learning Academy reassured FFRF that action had been taken to make sure staff is aware of their constitutional obligations to religious neutrality and to refrain from promoting religion in the classroom.
“It has been resolved. [The teacher] now has local news as her background noise,” the school’s response stated.