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Freethought Today · March 2015

Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

FFRF complaint letters spread from sea to shining sea

Contact: Mayor of Slidell, La.

Violation: The mayor hosted a religious community breakfast with the theme "A Call for Prayer and Unity." At least eight different speakers delivered prayers.

Contact: St. Tammany Parish Public Schools, Covington, La.

Violation: At the religious Slidell community prayer breakfast mentioned above, which took place during the school day, the Clearwood Junior High School band performed, the Slidell High School JROTC presented the colors, and Salmen High School Assistant Principal Raymond Morris spoke.

Contact: Town of Oyster Bay, N.Y.

Violation: A nativity scene was maintained on a public park lawn.

Contact: Volusia County School District, DeLand, Fla.

Violation: Spruce Creek High School rents space to Thrive Community Church, allowing the church to park a large trailer with an ad for the church service in the school parking lot all week.

Contact: Borough of Bergenfield, N.J.

Violation: The borough displayed a crèche and a menorah in Borough Hall.

Contact: Benton School Board, Ark.

Violation: The district was considering adopting a bible class that presents the bible from a sectarian and biased perspective.

Contact: Tennessee Senate

Violation: The Senate opens its sessions with prayer.

Contact: West Central School Corp., Francesville, Ind.

Violation: A West Central High School teacher showed her class the evangelical Christian movie "Fireproof," and a plaque near the school office displays the Ten Commandments.

Contact: Jones County School District, Ellisville, Miss.

Violation: Northeast Jones High School refused to let a secular student group form.

Contact: Tiffin City Schools, Ohio

Violation: A Columbian High School teacher was promoting a Christian club for which she was the adviser.

Contact: New Hampton School Board, Iowa

Violation: New Hampton High School's choir holds an annual "church tour," performing at several area churches. In addition, the choir often performs "In This Very Room," which includes the refrain, "For Jesus, Lord Jesus, is in this very room."

Contact: Michigan State Police

Violation: The police appoint volunteer chaplains, giving them the honorary rank of captain, which "afford[s] all the courtesies of that position." Chaplains are reimbursed for on-duty expenses.

Contact: New Mexico Department of Public Safety, New Mexico State Police

Violation: The DPS appointed a person with secular counseling qualifications to the position of chaplain.

Contact: City of DeLand, Fla.

Violation: DeLand's city seal depicts a cross.

Contact: Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center, Clarksburg, W.Va.

Violation: The center displayed a religious sign.

Contact: Ankeny Community School District, Iowa

Violation: Ankeny High School's football coach prayed with players.

Contact: Independent School District 318, Grand Rapids, Minn.

Violation: A teacher at Robert J. Elkington Middle School holds "Prayer Time" in his classroom every Monday morning and posted a flier for the event in the school hallway.

Contact: City of Holts Summit, Mo.

Violation: The Board of Aldermen proposed a veterans monument that would include an engraved bible quote.

Contact: Fountain Lake School District, Hot Springs, Ark.

Violation: Fountain Lake High School uses an Internet content filter that censors websites with information about minority religions.

Contact: Kentucky School District, Fort Knox, Ky.

Violation: Track coaches at Fort Campbell High School conclude practice by leading the team in prayer while the students are instructed to hold hands and bow their heads. Football coaches organize and lead prayer, regularly selecting a student at random to lead it.

Contact: Deer Valley Unified School District, Phoenix

Violation: Sierra Verde Elementary School planned a fifth-grade field trip to the Phoenix Liberty Festival, held at a Christian school in Phoenix and organized by a Christian organization called "We Make History," which has the goal of converting children to Christianity.

Contact: San Jose Unified School District, Calif.

Violation: A Willow Glen High School teacher showed the evangelical Christian movie "Courageous" to his class.

Contact: City of Glencoe, Ala.

Violation: The city flies a Christian flag at City Hall.

Contact: Middle Grove C-1 School District, Madison, Mo.

Violation: A girls basketball coach facilitates prayer in the pregame huddle and before and after practice. Group prayers are held at many school functions, such as back-to-school dinners, school picnics and within classrooms.

Contact: Lauderdale County School System, Ala.

Violation: Brooks Elementary School hosted a bible distribution, and Killen First Baptist Church has been allowed to evangelize to students at Brooks High School band practices.

Contact: McDonald's restaurant, Lavonia, Ga.

Violation: The restaurant offered a church bulletin discount.

Contact: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Violation: Various VA centers only sell religious books.

Contact: Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders, N.J.

Violation: The county's Historic Preservation Trust Fund has awarded millions of dollars to churches since 2003.

Contact: Volusia County Council, DeLand, Fla.

Violation: The council appropriated $350,000 to repair and maintain a church.

Contact: Jefferson County School District 509-J, Madras, Ore.

Violation: The Good News Club was permitted to park a trailer at Warm Springs K-8 Academy during school hours to hold religious instruction.

Contact: Easton Area School Board, Pa.

Violation: The board was considering adding prayer to its monthly meetings.

Contact: Winnebago County Child Support Agency, Oshkosh, Wis.

Violation: A county employee had a religious email signature.

Contact: Ogle County Board, Oregon, Ill.

Violation: The board was debating allowing a new statute to be placed at the War Veterans memorial at the county courthouse that includes a Latin cross.

Contact: Bells City Schools, Bells, Tenn.

Violation: Bells Elementary School's holiday concert opened with a prayer, and students sang songs referencing Jesus.

Contact: Killeen Independent School District, Texas

Violation: Clarke Elementary School first graders who chose not to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance were disciplined.

Contact: Blount County Commission, Maryville, Tenn.

Violation: The county seal includes an image of a church captioned by the word "RELIGION."

Contact: Octorara Area School District, Atglen, Pa.

Violation: The district hosts recruitment assemblies for the Boy Scouts of America at elementary schools during the school day.

Contact: Seminole County Public Schools, Oviedo, Fla.

Violation: Stenstrom Elementary School allowed East Pointe Church to post promotional signs on school property.

Contact: Knox County Public Schools, Knoxville, Tenn.

Violation: A church flier was placed in the mailbox of every teacher at Green Magnet Academy.

Contact: Hinds County Board attorney, Raymond, Miss.

Violation: The county tax collector's publication "The Fair Report" included a "Scripture of the Month."

Contact: Forsyth R-III Schools, Mo.

Violation: Forsyth High School allows a youth pastor at First Baptist Church to sit with students at lunch, distribute church brochures and encourage church attendance.

Contact: Lebanon R-III School District, Mo.

Violation: An Esther Elementary kindergarten teacher read her class a story about Jesus and the "true" meaning of Christmas and distributed coloring books with a nativity scene.

Contact: Sacramento County Sheriff's Department, Calif.

Violation: The department partners with Law Enforcement Chaplaincy Sacramento.

Contact: Mid-Del Public School District, Oklahoma City

Violation: The Epperly Heights Elementary School principal regularly discusses God and Jesus with students.

Contact: Pinellas County Schools, Fla.

Violation: The district allows a religious ministry into middle and high schools to teach an abstinence-only program.

Contact: Chicago Public Schools

Violation: A Greeley Elementary teacher promotes WyldLife, a Christian club dedicated to "introducing adolescents to Jesus Christ and helping them grow in their faith."

Contact: U.S. Postal Service, Mount Pleasant, Texas

Violation: "In God We Trust" was displayed on the post office's wall.

Contact: Dayton Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Ohio

Violation: The BMV lobby displays signs containing "God Bless the USA" and "One Nation Under God."

Contact: City of Bayard, N.M.

Violation: City offices close on Good Friday and Easter Monday.

Contact: National Park Service

Violation: A Latin cross is displayed atop Castle Rock in Modoc County, Calif.

Contact: Julesburg School District RE-1, Colo.

Violation: Julesburg High School graduation ceremonies include prayer.