FFRF puts kibosh on Wis. district’s religious promotion

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The Freedom From Religion Foundation has put an end to Christian propaganda within a Wisconsin school district.

FFRF asked the Kenosha Unified School District to immediately take corrective action to end infringements of the U.S. Constitution in an elementary school in the district after several concerned Kenosha Unified School District parents contacted FFRF to report instances of what appeared to be the promotion of Christianity.

A fourth-grade classroom at Roosevelt Elementary School had included Christian displays that FFRF asserted needed to be removed from classrooms and school walls. These displays included a Latin cross, a poster that said, “Blessed is the nation whose god is the lord,” with an accompanying bible verse (Psalm 33:12), a poster listing “vices” and “virtues” drawn from another bible verse (Galatians 5:20–23), and a poster promoting devotional Christian music.

“The district violates the Constitution when it allows its schools to display religious symbols or messages,” FFRF Staff Attorney Ryan Jayne wrote to Kenosha District Superintendent Sue Savaglio-Jarvis last month. “Public schools may not advance, prefer, or promote religion. The teacher’s religious classroom decorations violate this basic constitutional prohibition by creating the appearance that the district prefers religion over nonreligion, and Christianity over all other faiths.”

An attorney representing Kenosha Unified School District recently informed FFRF that religious iconography and messages had been removed from the district’s classrooms and hallways.

“Christian-themed decoration in a public school fosters an environment in which some students feel ostracized,” says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “We’re glad that the district will be more cognizant of students of all religious and nonreligious backgrounds.”

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a Wisconsin-based national nonprofit organization with 32,000 members across the country, including more than 1,300 in Wisconsin. FFRF’s purposes are to protect the constitutional principle of separation between state and church, and to educate the public on matters relating to nontheism.

Freedom From Religion Foundation

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