Michigan district gets rid of Christian displays (October 6, 2021)

After hearing from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a Michigan school district has gotten rid of unconstitutional religious iconography from its schools.

A concerned Pewamo-Westphalia Community Schools student reported to FFRF multiple instances of religious promotion by district staff members at the middle and high school. The displays ranged from a paperweight that displayed “WWJD” or “What would Jesus do” to a cross on paper displayed with a bible quote. Teachers at the school sometimes also reportedly discussed their religious beliefs with students.

“It is a fundamental principle of Establishment Clause jurisprudence that public schools may not advance, prefer or promote religion,” FFRF Staff Attorney Chris Line wrote to Superintendent Jeff Wright.

FFRF’s missive led to official religion disappearing from Pewamo-Westphalia Community Schools — in keeping with constitutional precepts.

The superintendent met with staff and instructed them to remove “non-curricular religious displays from the classrooms and to discontinue any practices of promoting personal religious views during the school day,” an attorney for the school district informed FFRF. The superintendent also planned to do a walkthrough to make sure everything has been removed, FFRF was told.

Freedom From Religion Foundation