Teacher’s ‘Personal Testimony’ removed ( June 9, 2015)

Murchison Middle School, Austin, Texas, removed religious content from its website after getting an FFRF letter. Gus Garcia Young Men’s Leadership Academy also will no longer be allowed to host eighth-grade graduation prayer.

Jeff Sanders, Murchison athletic coordinator, had a section on his Austin Independent School District page titled “My Personal Testimony.” In it he wrote of “accept[ing] Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior when I was 9 years old.”

Staff Attorney Sam Grover sent a letter June 9. An attorney for the school district responded July 22 that the district took FFRF’s concerns seriously and said the constitutional issues had been discussed with administrators. 

Police Chief Steve Drumm will no longer post religious messages under the banner of the Zavalla, Texas, Police Department. Drumm had posted bible verses and a request for residents to “Pray For Your Pastor.”

“When a government organization or a government employee acting in his or her official role speaks, it is with the voice of the state,” said Staff Attorney Sam Grover in an Aug. 6 letter.

The next day, FFRF’s local complainant informed Grover that Drumm had changed the department’s Facebook page to be a personal page, despite claiming that “the Zavalla PD page has always been my own, and in no representation the city of Zavalla views, and feelings, I used it to keep the city informed on issues.”

Freedom From Religion Foundation