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FFRF keeps Texas district free from indoctrination (March 2024)

After FFRF intervened, the Texas-based Tomball ISD will no longer allow staff members to run overtly religious extracurricular clubs. A concerned district parent reported that Oakcrest Intermediate School was allowing a staff member to organize, lead and run a religious club for students called “Cats for Christ.” The staff member additionally organized the religious event “See You At the Pole” at the school, as well, an event that brings students to their school’s flagpole in prayer. “We ask that the district ensure that ‘Cats for Christ’ is disbanded,” FFRF Anne Nicol Gaylor Legal Fellow Sammi Lawrence wrote to the district. “Going forward, all religious clubs and events must be genuinely student-initiated, and organized, led and run by students.” Upon receiving FFRF’s letter, General Counsel Holly Sherman reached out, informing FFRF that staff members in the future would respect the First Amendment by taking a monitoring role rather than an active one. “TISD will take steps to ensure that all non-curricular student organizations, regardless of any religious affiliation, are supervised by a staff member who serves in a monitoring role in accordance with Board Policy FNAB (Local) and applicable law.”