The Freedom From Religion Foundation has stopped religious radio programs from being played at a Wisconsin public school.
A concerned community member contacted FFRF to report that a radio in the front office of Osceola Intermediate School regularly played a Christian station loudly enough for everyone passing by to hear. The station was St. Paul-based 98.5 KTIS, which describes itself as a "ministry" that "communicat[es] God's message in the Twin Cities" in order "to lead people to Christ and nurture believers in their faith through Christ-centered media." In addition to broadcasting music, the station also promotes "biblical worldviews" through segments such as "Growing In Faith" and "Sharing Your Faith."
FFRF informed the school district that such radio stations cannot be played for a captive audience of students and their visiting family members.
"It is well settled that public schools may not advance or endorse religion," FFRF Legal Fellow Ryan Jayne wrote to Osceola School District Superintendent Mark Luebker earlier this month. "District employees may not promote Christian or other religious messages to students or parents. When an agent of the school promotes Christianity, it alienates non-Christian students and parents."
FFRF's reasoning had the desired effect.
"Effective Jan. 1, 2017, the Osceola Intermediate School office will refrain from playing 98.5 KTIS or other religious programming while students or parents are present," Luebker replied a couple of days ago.
FFRF is appreciative the district addressed the matter promptly.
"Public school students and their families shouldn't be subjected to Christian proselytization," says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a national state/church watchdog based in Madison, Wis., with 25,000 members, including 1,300-plus in Wisconsin.