Statement on contract approval for Oklahoma’s St. Isidore of Seville Catholic Virtual School

Oklahoma statewide virtual charter school board logo

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Freedom From Religion Foundation, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, American Civil Liberties Union, and the Education Law Center – the organizations litigating the lawsuit to stop Oklahoma from sponsoring and funding the nation’s first religious public charter school – issued the following joint statement in response to the Oklahoma Statewide Virtual Charter School Board voting today to approve a contract with St. Isidore of Seville Catholic Virtual School:

“The Oklahoma Statewide Virtual Charter School Board is continuing on a misguided path to create the nation’s first religious public charter school in clear violation of Oklahoma law and the state’s promise of church-state separation and public schools that are open to all. The board is ignoring the legal and public education experts, religious freedom advocates, and Oklahoma taxpayers who all oppose St. Isidore of Seville Catholic Virtual School – a public school that plans to discriminate against students, families, and staff and indoctrinate students into one religion. Our plaintiffs are fighting the approval of St. Isidore in court because they are committed to public schools that welcome and serve all Oklahomans.”

AU, ACLU, ELC & FFRF, supported by Oklahoma-based counsel Odom & Sparks PLLC and J. Douglas Mann, on July 31 filed the lawsuit OKPLAC, Inc. v. Statewide Virtual Charter School Board on behalf of nine Oklahoma residents and a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting public education in Oklahoma. The plaintiffs are faith leaders, public school parents, and public education advocates who object to their tax dollars funding a public charter school that will discriminate against students and families based on their religion and LGBTQ+ status, fail to adequately serve students with disabilities, and indoctrinate students into one religion.
The lawsuit charges that the Oklahoma Statewide Virtual Charter School Board violated the Oklahoma Constitution, the Oklahoma Charter Schools Act, and the board’s own regulations when it approved St. Isidore’s application for charter-school sponsorship on June 5, 2023.

The plaintiffs in OKPLAC, Inc. v. Statewide Virtual Charter School Board include OKPLAC (Oklahoma Parent Legislative Action Committee), Melissa Abdo, Krystal Bonsall, Leslie Briggs, Brenda Lené, Michele Medley, Dr. Bruce Prescott, the Rev. Dr. Mitch Randall, the Rev. Dr. Lori Walke, and Erika Wright.

The team of attorneys that represents the plaintiffs is led by Alex J. Luchenitser and Kenneth D. Upton Jr. of Americans United and includes Kalli A. Joslin of Americans United; Daniel Mach and Heather L. Weaver of the ACLU; Robert Kim, Jessica Levin, and Wendy Lecker of Education Law Center; Patrick Elliott of FFRF; Benjamin H. Odom, John H. Sparks, Michael W. Ridgeway, and Lisa M. Millington of Odom & Sparks; and J. Douglas Mann.

A copy of the lawsuit complaint.
Media kit that includes quotes, photos and descriptions of the plaintiffs.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a national nonprofit organization with over 40,000 members across the country. Our purposes are to protect the constitutional principle of separation between state and church, and to educate the public on matters relating to nontheism.

Americans United is a religious freedom advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, AU educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom. Learn more at

For more than 100 years, the ACLU has worked in courts, legislatures, and communities to protect the constitutional rights of all people. With a nationwide network of offices and millions of members and supporters, the ACLU takes on the toughest civil liberties fights in pursuit of liberty and justice for all. For more information on the ACLU, visit

Education Law Center pursues justice and equity for public school students by enforcing their right to a high-quality education in safe, equitable, non-discriminatory, integrated, and well-funded learning environments. We seek to support and improve public schools as the center of communities and the foundation of a multicultural and multiracial democratic society. For more information about ELC, visit

If you are an FFRF member, sign into your account here and then update your email subscriptions here.

To become an FFRF member, click here. To learn more about FFRF, request information here.

Freedom From Religion Foundation

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