Students who attend or have graduated from Airline High School in Bossier Parish, Louisiana, are claiming school officials pushed Christianity on them. In response, local Christian officials are claiming persecution (video below).
More than a dozen students and graduates told Slate they were told to read Bible verses during heath class, taught that creationism is part of science, pushed to go to Fellowship of Christian Athletes club meetings and warned about using contraception by a "born again virgin."
The American Civil Liberties Union sent a letter to the Bossier Parish School Board on Sept. 24 about the school engaging in a “pattern of religious proselytization,” noted the The Shreveport Times.
The ACLU complained about "'prayer boxes' with Christian symbols throughout the school and by religious messages in newsletters posted on the school's website."
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The ACLU added, "We also understand that the Principal of Airline, Jason Rowland, has encouraged students to 'pray to the Almighty God.'"
In response, Republican Louisiana State Rep. Mike Johnson of Bossier City offered the free services of his law firm for Rowland and the school district to fight the ACLU.
"This is typical of the ACLU," Johnson told The Shreveport Times. "They're on a seek-and-destroy mission for all things religious."
Johnson added: "I hope the school will stand its ground."
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The Bossier Parish School Board supported Rowland in a resolution. At a protest, “Prayer Warrior” signs were placed in front of the school's flagpole and hundreds of Christians gathered outside the school in a prayer rally against the alleged religious persecution, noted Slate.
"Fox and Friends" reported in October that the ACLU was offended by a message on the Airline High website: "The Future Starts Today — May God Bless You All — Jason Rowland, Principal, AHS."
While that was part of the ACLU's complaint, it was not the only issue.
Rowland appeared on the Fox News show and stated:
"Well, to be totally honest, I’ve never had a complaint from a student of ours that was offended by the fact we saluted a message or even said to them 'God bless you.'
"If it gets to that point and you're not even allowed to sneeze within a school system and say 'God bless you,' where's our culture? Where are we going if that's going to be offensive to someone?"
"Fox and Friends" stuck on the issue of saying "God bless you," which fed Rowland's case and suggested the ACLU was attacking Southern culture and manners.
Rowland claimed people were getting offended by things they would not get offended by five or 10 years ago.
In reality, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled more than 50 years ago that school administrators could not endorse or promote religion.