FFRF warns Ala. district officials about upcoming religious event


DeKalb County Schools must ensure that its employees cease any involvement in a religious event this upcoming weekend, the Freedom From Religion Foundation is insisting.

A concerned parent has reported to the state/church watchdog that Fyffe High School is holding a “Back to School Worship Service” in the school’s gym on Sunday, Aug. 4, which is being organized and promoted by school faculty members. The event is also being promoted on the school’s Facebook page.

“Please join us in praying for God’s protective hand to be over our schools, facilities, and students,” a recent Facebook post reads.

Organizing and promoting religious worship events unconstitutionally entangles school personnel with an exclusively — often exclusively Christian — religious message, FFRF has pointed out to the district.

“DeKalb County Schools should be particularly mindful of ostracizing non-Christians, given that over 47 percent of young Americans are non-Christian, either practicing a minority religion or no religion at all,” Line writes. “Parents, not district administrators, have the right to dictate the religious or nonreligious upbringing of their children.”

FFRF is urging the district to make certain that its teachers and administrators are not unlawfully indoctrinating students in religious matters. Faculty may not, FFRF reminds the district, organize worship services within the district, and district resources may not be used to advertise religious events.

“This religious promotion is not only problematic from a constitutional perspective, but is also a harmful assault on the students’ right of conscience,” comments FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “DeKalb County Schools must direct its focus, time and resources toward educating its students, not proselytizing to them.”

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a national nonprofit organization with more than 31,000 members across the country, including hundreds of members in Alabama. FFRF’s purposes are to protect the constitutional principle of separation between church and state, and to educate the public on matters relating to nontheism.

Freedom From Religion Foundation

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