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Ariz. board member stops reading bible verses (September 2023)

FFRF is pleased to report that a member of the Peoria (Ariz.) Unified School District governing board has agreed to stop reciting bible verses during meetings — at least for now.

FFRF wrote to the school district in late May, pointing out that board member Heather Rooks quotes from the bible at every board meeting, and that another board member, Rebecca Hill, was starting to join in.

The board has heeded FFRF’s request and recently sent Rooks a letter directing her to stop quoting bible verses during meetings. At a recent board meeting, Rooks announced: “Based upon the district’s letter, I will refrain from reciting bible verses at this time and will have my attorneys at First Liberty Institute handle this matter.”

Rooks appears to openly embrace Christian nationalism and has invited her followers to attend board meetings en masse, who sometimes disrupt the gatherings.

Wrote FFRF Attorney Chris Line: “While board members are free to promote their personal religious beliefs however they wish in their personal capacities outside of the school board, as government officials they cannot be allowed to commandeer the board in order to impose their personal religious beliefs on district students, parents, and employees.”