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Tenn. school bus drops religious signage (August 2023)

A school bus will no longer carry an offensive religious sign after FFRF contacted the school district.

A Scott County Schools parent noticed that one of the district’s buses had a rear license plate reading “God Bless America,” as well as a sign on the back of the bus claiming, “Our government makes sin legal — Our God does not! Jesus is coming soon and boy is he mad!” The complainant noticed this bus while picking up their child from elementary school.

“By allowing an official SCS bus to display blatantly proselytizing messages, SCS fails to remain neutral toward religion and shows clear favoritism toward Christians who subscribe to this particular religious message,” FFRF Anne Nicol Gaylor Legal Fellow Sammi Lawrence wrote in her letter of complaint. “In recognition of SCS’s constitutional obligation to remain neutral toward religion and in order to respect the right of conscience of all students and their families, these religious messages must be removed immediately.”

FFRF received a response from Billy M. Hall, director of schools with the Board of Education Central Office, stating that the signage had been removed the following day.