As you must be aware, a parents' group has held weekly lunches at the Fireman's Memorial Park, adjacent to the Middleton High School, in which organizers have handed out bibles, engaged in proselytization and given out free food—all contrary to the wishes of the Middleton-Cross Plains School District.
Freedom From Religion Foundation staffers and supporters are gathering at 11:15 a.m. on Tuesday, May 24, to make sure that the organizers' actions do not go unchallenged. This is the last time the lunch will be held before the school year ends, and so we need to make our presence felt. Fireman's Park is located directly west of Middleton High School, on the corner of Clark Street and Lee Street. There is a parking lot on the other side of Lee Street.
These lunches have become divisive and contentious events that separate the students into Christian believers and nonbelievers. The religious recruitment underlying the event is improper in a space physically connected to a public school. Plus, there are health and safety issues involved.
The Middleton-Cross Plains School District, which opposes the "Jesus Lunches," leased the park during the day until recently. The district reported threats of litigation from the lunch organizers if the district enforced its rights under the lease. Despite the district bowing out of the controversy, the weekly events remain problematic for many reasons. The city of Middleton has several reasonable ways to protect its young citizens.
FFRF has a rational and obvious solution to the issue: to deed the strip of parkland to the school. This would advance a public purpose by enhancing the safety and security of the students, FFRF maintains.
Until this happens, we need to make sure that the proselytizing organizers do not have a free run of the park. No group should be allowed to pit Middleton students against each other. Join us on Tuesday!
Any questions? Feel free to call 608-256-8900 for more information.