Freethought Today · November 2012

Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

Member reminds school of Constitution

wilson complain crosses

“Memorial” crosses were planted outside the lunchroom at Cedar Key School. Cedar Key is an island on the Gulf Coast 50 miles southwest of Gainesville, Fla.  

Florida member Ben Wilson writes to say it paid to complain about a constitutional violation at his children’s K-12 school in Levy County:

I’m so happy this morning. Yesterday afternoon I noticed that the school had a plethora of miniature white crosses at the entrance to the lunchroom. Surrounding the crosses was police tape, which I immediately assumed was a statement about abortion.  

I took my children to school this morning and stayed until the principal showed up. I asked him about the crosses. He said he didn’t know what they were for but said he would check. I explained that it would be a violation regardless of the motive(s). He was dismissive and walked off.  

Ten minutes later, he called me and stated that the crosses were not an abortion statement but were meant to symbolize the deaths from cancer in our county. He then said, “So that would be OK, Mr. Wilson, right?”

I explained to him that as I previously stated, having the crosses on school grounds was not legal, regardless of their intended message. I explained that latin crosses symbolize Christianity.

They are “only there to represent the deaths,” he said. I answered, “But you are symbolizing the deaths with Christian symbols. Were all those who died Christian?”   

“Mr. Wilson, I’ll remove them if they offend you. Is that what you want?” I said, “Yes, not just because it offends me but to protect children and to uphold the Constitution.”

Minutes later, I drove by and the crosses and tape had been removed.

What little tactical skills I have to counter these abuses have come from what I’ve learned from FFRF, its newspaper, its updates and Action Alerts. Thank you all for doing what you do. 

[Update, a week later]: Today I called the principal about another violation with the science teacher. This is the third time I’ve complained about his incessant pandering to Jesus.

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