The Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) penned a scathing letter this week to Texas’s Mount Vernon Independent School District.
In the original letter, the FFRF blasts the district for allowing religion to “run amok” on school grounds.
"We have rarely seen such a collection of egregious state/church violations in one school district,” the letter says. “This is religion run amok, targeting a captive audience of young students, including elementary school students. All of these religious mottos, symbols, posters, bible verses and Christian t-shirts should be removed immediately,' referencing crosses and inspirational quotes, some biblical verses and others from historical figures.”
FFRF attorney Sam Grover says the district violated federal law by endorsing specific religious beliefs on school grounds.
“When teachers place Latin crosses or bible quotes on classroom wall,” Grover writes, “they have unconstitutionally entangled the school with a religious message, specifically a Christian message."
To illustrate his point, Grover points to quotes like the following which can be seen on school walls:
“Within the covers of the Bible are all the answers for the problems men face.” – Ronald Reagan.
Grover’s letter concludes, “Given the variety and pervasiveness of the violations reported to us, we recommend that the district not only address the specific violations reported here, but also make an effort to educate all district employees about their obligation to remain neutral toward religion under the Establishment Clause.”
School superintendent John Kaufman defends the school’s use of religious materials.
“Throughout this whole ordeal, students, teachers and parents are going to stand up for what they believe in," Kaufman says. “We are in the process of working with our school attorney. We will provide them a response once it is complete and I'm sure we will hear from them again."
The students also don't seem to be backing down. They have continued to wear shirts like the one pictured below and show no signs of wanting to stop.