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The schools in Lucedale, Mississippi are reminiscent of the way schools used to be across the nation — a throwback to the “good old days.”
Students in the George County School District are exposed to the Faith of our Fathers from the classroom to the football field.
There’s a copy of the Ten Commandments posted in every classroom. They pray at graduation ceremonies and before heading into battle on the gridiron the football team invites a local minister to deliver a devotional.
And there’s a Bible verse posted above the gymnasium at George County High School – Colossians 3:23.
““Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men,” the verse reads.
However, someone in the community took issues with the overtly Christian leanings of the district and begged the Freedom From Religion Foundation for help.
The FFRF is a Wisconsin-based gang of atheists known for targeting small school district that still ascribe to traditional American values.
“The state/church watchdog has been informed that last spring’s George County High School graduation ceremony included both a preplanned invocation and benediction,” the FFRF said in a statement. “The prayers were reportedly student-led and overtly Christian, with the prayer-givers asking the audience to bow their heads to participate in each prayer. The 2022 graduation ceremony also included a student-led invocation and benediction where the audience was also asked to bow their heads in prayer.”
They’ve accused the school district of not being inclusive or welcoming to godless heathens.
“Students have the First Amendment right to be free from religious indoctrination in their public schools. The district’s actions show a clear custom and a practice of official district favoritism toward religion over non-religion — and Christianity over all other faiths,” the FFRF said. “Plus, the inclusion of prayers and proselytizing at official school-sponsored events and activities, such as graduation ceremonies and athletic team events, unconstitutionally coerces students to participate in and observe religious exercises.”
The demanded the school district “comply with the Constitution.”
“These are egregious violations of the First Amendment, which the district has the duty to uphold,” says FFRF co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor. “Under the Constitution, every student has a right to an education free from religious indoctrination.”
As I wrote in my newest book, “Twilight’s Last Gleaming,” school districts need to brush up on their constitutional rights as well as their rights provided by the Dept. of Education. Neither students nor teachers are forced to leave their religious beliefs at the schoolhouse door.