Only secular assemblies for North Carolina special needs school

An FFRF letter stopped a special needs school (Gastonia, N.C.) from hosting religious-based assemblies, after one of its assemblies featured Elements of Dance, a Christian dance company, on Dec. 7, 2010. Students ranging from ages 5 to 20 were in attendance, and an attorney for the district confirmed that Christian music had been played. The school planned to bring the dance company back for another assembly in the spring of 2011. Elements of Dance describes its mission as “a school of dance where students learn technical skill in ballet, modern, tap, and hip hop while worshipping the Lord. ‘For Him we live and move and have our being. Acts 17:28.’ ” On Jan. 18, 2011, the school district’s attorney spoke with Rebecca Markert, FFRF senior staff attorney who wrote the letter of complaint. FFRF was informed that the principal has agreed that no future performance may include religious content, and that all assemblies must be secular in nature. — Bonnie Gutsch

Freedom From Religion Foundation