The Washington County School District in Florida responded Tuesday to allegations of unconstitutional religious practices taking place at Vernon High School. The Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a letter to Washington County Superintendent of Schools Joseph Taylor on August 10th, citing constitutional violations in the district.
The letter includes several complaints, including a teacher promoting the sale of religious t-shirts, teachers requiring students to transcribe Bible chapters from the Book of John and displaying a banner with a Bible verse on the football field. The superintendent tried to say that the banner on the football field was paid for by a church – that he didn’t know if that was legal or not. I call bullshit. If you are the superintendent of an entire school district, you had better damn well know what legal and what is not.
What the letter was describing was actual boards that churches pay for to put their name on. Is that an endorsement of religion? Can you even be permitted to do those? Like I said, those are issues that we’re not really locally equipped to make a call on.
That only addresses the banner on the football field. What about the teachers having students transcribe Bible verses in class? Oh hell no. If my children came home saying that this was going on in one of their public school classes, it had better be in a religion class that covers many religions. Taylor knows this is wrong, but he’s afraid of getting his own ass in trouble.
The complaint was filed by a Vernon resident who was concerned about religious students receiving conflicting information at school.
I did not complain about these incidents at Vernon because I hate religion or God — quite the opposite. In this country, we have the freedom to practice any faith we choose, or none at all. The problem with religion in schools is that you run the risk of a Catholic teacher confusing Baptist students, or a Lutheran teacher confusing Mormon students, or a Buddhist teacher confusing Muslim students. Religion should be taught in church and in the home, not in the school.
This isn’t even about confusing the children. This is about
indoctrinating teaching children about religion in a public setting. We have many different faiths in the country, and none should be pushed on our kids by overzealous teachers. If they want their students learning about religion, perhaps they should seek a new position at a private institution.
The resident was right about one thing: religion should be kept at home or in a religious setting.
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