Superintendent’s promotion of ‘See You at the Pole’ event protested (October 1, 2014)

A superintendent in Toledo, Ohio, who utilized the social media site Twitter to promote a religious 2014 “See You at the Pole” event will no longer be permitted to do so.

A complainant contacted FFRF saying that the superintendent posted a message to his Twitter feed on Sept. 24 which read, “Courageous students will be praying at Whitmer’s flagpole at 7am. I will join them, it will be an amazing way to start the dsy [sic]!!” This gathering was presumably part of the annual Christian event, “See You at the Pole.”

The Washington Local Schools website lists a posting for the 2012 Whitmer High School “See You at the Pole” event: “Students, parents, staff and community members are invited to gather to pray for a new school year and for staff, students, parents and communities all across the U.S.A.”

On Sept. 26, FFRF Senior Staff Attorney Rebecca Markert sent a letter of complaint to the district:

“When the district’s employees participate in the religious events of students, they unconstitutionally entangle the District with a religious message. This alienates nonreligious students, teachers, and members of the public whose religious beliefs are inconsistent with the message being promoted by the school.”

On Oct. 1, an attorney for the district responded: “I have discussed with [the superintendent] the possible appearance of religious endorsement that can arise from both messages and personal participation in certain student activities, and I believe that our discussion will inform his future approaches to his involvement.”

Freedom From Religion Foundation