In Kentucky, the Franklin County School Board was approached by a resident who wanted to offer teachers “In God We Trust” signs to hang in their classrooms.
They heard him out.. and then several board members did something shocking: They expressed their fervent support for church/state separation:
“In the public-school classroom there is a strict separation of church and state,” said board member Michelle New, who worried the posters could distract from learning. “Things that are hung up in the classroom should go along with the curriculum in the classroom.”
Other board members said the district must be sensitive to students of all religions, as well as those who don’t express a belief in God.
Allowing the posters in schools could set an uncertain precedent, said board member Doug Crowe — one that might test the religious tolerance of this community.
“We have told our folks, you can’t pray at graduation, but ‘In God We Trust’ is going up in our classrooms?” Crowe said. “How tolerant is this board if a member of the Muslim community comes forward and wants to put up a poster that says ‘In Allah We Trust?’”
Great points all around. But the best line went to a board member who said she wouldn’t let her faith override her legal obligations:
Board member BeLinda Henson said despite her own religious convictions, she would not blur the lines when it comes to performing her duties as an elected school official.
“I’m a Christian and I swore an oath to the people of this county to uphold the Constitution,” she said. “That Constitution calls for a separation of church and state. Unlike Kim Davis, I swore I’d uphold the Constitution.”
I love it. A school board where the members take their jobs seriously instead of making it a branch of their church.
The board didn’t vote on the matter, but said they would get more community input before further discussion. The Tri-State Freethinkers in the area informed me they’ll be sending in a letter against the signs very soon.
(Thanks to everyone for the link)