White Oak High School, located in Longview Texas, will no longer include a reading from Bible Scripture during morning announcements after receiving backlash from the community and atheism group, Freedom From Religion Foundation, Longview News-Journal reports.
White Oak Independent School District Superintendent, Michael Gilbert, assured the public that the Bible Scripture will be removed from Principal Dan Noll’s daily announcement.
In his blog, Gilbert wrote: "We can and will make the adjustments needed to ensure our students experience a morally sound, positive character-based education. I am fully aware of the practice at the high school and will not pursue any action against our high school principal or any other member of our faculty/staff concerning this issue."
The issue reached the attention of the Freedom From Religion Foundation in Wisconsin when an atheist blogger forwarded recordings of Noll’s readings. In response, the foundation contacted the White Oak Independent School District and demanded that Noll immediately refrain from quoting Bible Scripture. The foundation also requested that disciplinary action be taken.
By Saturday, the adjustments to Noll’s daily announcement seemed to have been made. "It will consist of material intended to encourage students to consider positive choices in their daily life and plans for the future, " Gilbert stated. "The thought for the day will come from a variety of sources and will not include chapter and verse from Scripture."
In addition to the backlash received from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, local residents also weighed in with their displeasure of Noll’s reading from Bible Scripture.
Air Force veteran Patrick Greene announced he would file a lawsuit against the district if changes were not made. "Unlike from the Freedom from Religion Foundation, I am a Texan who takes it personally when the Texas and United States Constitutions are being completely ignored," Greene said. "You cannot teach love of country and respect for the law of the land to our children, then flagrantly show your hypocrisy by publicly showing the children how to break the law,” according to Longview News-Journal.
Sources: Longview News-Journal