Religious Plaques At Texas Public School Sparks Controversy

| by Lisa Fogarty

A man from San Antonio, Texas, has decided not to go forward with a lawsuit against Midlothian ISD over two plaques containing religious messages that are hanging on the walls of two different elementary schools in the district.

Patrick Greene says that, although he still believes the plaques violate people’s constitutional rights, a friend and former attorney advised him to drop the lawsuit because the fact that he doesn’t reside in Midlothian would work against him in a court of law, reports

“He told me that since I do not physically live in Midlothian, my lawsuit would be thrown out of court for lack of legal standing,” Greene wrote. “Therefore, I will not proceed in this matter.”

One of the plaques is located at Mountain Peak Elementary and states that the school is dedicated to the “education of God’s children and to their faithful teachers in the name of the Holy Christian Church.” A plaque at Longbranch Elementary features a similar message.

Both plaques were covered up when the school district received a letter from the Freedom from Religion Foundation this summer informing them that someone complained about their religious content, reports KDFW. At the time, Liz Cavell, an attorney with the organization, explained, “The bottom line is it’s a public school and it’s a public school district and they can’t endorse the message that’s on that plaque.”

A Facebook group called Bring Back the Plaque was created shortly after they were covered and demonstrations and protests have taken place in town. Someone has since removed the covers and district superintendent Jerome Stewart announced on Aug. 28 that they would remain uncovered.

Greene, who is a San Antonio resident, initially threatened to proceed with a lawsuit if the school board did not vote to remove the plaques on Oct. 20. When that did not happen, Greene postponed filing his lawsuit.

Justin Coffman, a children’s minister at Harvest Hill Church who has three children enrolled at Mt. Peak, called Greene’s decision not to take legal action an “answer to prayer.”

“This plaque may be a small issue in the grand scheme of things, but it proves that Christians can peacefully unite, have an opinion and be heard on issues that are important to us,” Coffman wrote in an email. “We must not sit idly by in the name of ‘political correctness’ and allow our Christian values to be persecuted and removed.”

The Freedom from Religion Foundation is reportedly still discussing how to proceed in this matter.

Sources:, KDFW

Photo Credit: KDFW