At the urging of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, numerous framed postings of the Ten Commandments have come down in Breathitt County Schools in Kentucky.
FFRF contacted the manager for the school system, Larry Hammond, on April 5 about the postings. FFRF Staff Attorney Patrick Elliott wrote that the display of the Ten Commandments throughout the schools was a flagrant violation of the Establishment Clause.
FFRF requested that all principals be directed to remove the Ten Commandments, noting that FFRF considers such egregious violations of conscience in public schools as requiring a speedy resolution.
“The Supreme Court ruled on this very issue over 30 years ago. It is unacceptable that a public school system would willfully violate the Constitution in this manner in 2013,” said Annie Laurie Gaylor, FFRF co-president. The Supreme Court ruled in Stone v. Graham in 1980 that posting the Ten Commandments in Kentucky schools was motivated by a religious purpose and is unconstitutional.
A Breathitt student informed FFRF on April 11 that many of the displays had been removed. Hammond, the manager of Breathitt County Schools, was appointed by the Kentucky Department of Education to oversee the troubled school system. It was reported that the Department of Education issued a statement agreeing that the displays violated the Constitution.