FFRF gets Indiana religious sign taken down

A religious public school marquee was quickly taken down after a Freedom From Religion Foundation complaint.

Morristown Jr./Sr. High School in Morristown, Ind., posted “MAY GOD BLESS YOU” as part of its 2016 congratulatory message for its graduating students. Public schools may not endorse a religious message, FFRF reminded the Shelby Eastern Schools Corporation.

“The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment prohibits government sponsorship of religious messages,” FFRF Legal Fellow Ryan Jayne wrote to Shelby Eastern Schools Superintendent Robert Evans. “The U.S. Supreme Court has said time and again that the ‘First Amendment mandates government neutrality between religion and religion, and between religion and nonreligion.'” 

FFRF asked that the “MAY GOD BLESS YOU” message be removed from the school marquee.

The school district responded immediately to FFRF’s request.

“Thank you for bringing this to my attention,” Evans emailed the day after receiving Jayne’s letter. “The marquee will be changed promptly.”

FFRF hails the quick turnaround.

“It’s nice to see a school district rectifying its misstep so quickly,” says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “However, public schools should know from the get-go that religious display signs are never appropriate.”

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to separation of state and church, with 24,000 nonreligious members nationwide, including more than 300 in Indiana.

Freedom From Religion Foundation

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