No more religious remarks from school board members (June/July 2023)

The Chino Valley Unified School District in California has taken action to prevent board members from making religious comments during meetings, after receiving a warning from FFRF.

On April 6, a board member engaged with a community member regarding a resolution requiring staff to inform parents within three days if they became aware that a student might be identifying as a gender other than their sex assigned at birth. The community member was gay, to which the board member implied that the community member had been confused about his sexuality while growing up, before stating, “I was reflecting on what you were saying. I do love one man. I really love this man and that is Jesus Christ. It’s in my head.”

“[The board member]’s inappropriate proselytizing alienated our complainant and may constitute a violation of the injunction against the board,” FFRF Staff Attorney Chris Line wrote in a letter to the Chino Valley legal representative.

Attorney William A. Diedrich wrote to FFRF, stating that he had met with the board, and said that, “we believe the board is aware of its rights and obligations concerning the Establishment Clause and expression of religious beliefs during meetings of the Governing Board.”

Freedom From Religion Foundation