FFRF gets religious school message removed

A large religious message in an Oklahoma public school was taken down after a Freedom From Religion Foundation complaint.

One of the walls in the teachers’ lounge in East Side Elementary School in Chandler, Okla., had a 5-foot-by-5-foot stenciled message that read: “Miracles alter flow unseen through our lives, so let us remember to thank God for our daily blessings.”

FFRF reminded school officials that this was a violation of the First Amendment.

“As you know, public schools may not advance, prefer or promote religion,” FFRF Staff Attorney Andrew Seidel wrote to Wayland Kimble, superintendent of Chandler Public School District. “Courts have continually held that school districts may not display religious messages or iconography in public schools. That this religious message is displayed in the teachers’ lounge does not mitigate the violation.” 

FFRF asked that the message be removed.

The School District reacted swiftly and affirmatively.

“Thank you of informing me of this,” Kimble replied in an email within a day of receiving Seidel’s letter. “We have taken it [the message] down.”

FFRF truly appreciates the speedy response.

“The Chandler Public School District has been quick to take remedial action in the past, and this is yet another instance,” says FFRF Co-President Dan Barker. “It’s gratifying to find such a school district.”

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is dedicated to the separation of state and church, with 24,000 nonreligious members, including more than 150 in Oklahoma.

Freedom From Religion Foundation

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