About a month ago, at DeKalb West Elementary School in Tennessee, students gathered around the flagpole to pray to their God, as many young Christians across the country did.
But this wasn’t a legal, student-initiated demonstration. This gathering involved staff members, including School Resource Officer Lewis Carrick, who took the microphone and urged the kids to be “an army of God that will stick together and relinquish themselves unto His service.”
It’s not the first time he’s done that, either, says the Freedom From Religion Foundation, but they’re determined to make sure it’s the last. In a letter sent to District Superintendent Patrick Cripps, attorney Rebecca Markert fired a warning shot reminding the District that employee participation in religious events is illegal.
District staff must not plan, promote, or participate in any future “See You at the Pole” events, nor can they encourage students to put on such events. Any religious events in the DeKalb County School District must be truly student-initiated and student-run, and therefore none should occur at any elementary school. SRO Carrick should be informed that he may not participate in any future “See You at the Pole” events or otherwise use his position to proselytize students.
Please inform us in writing of the steps the DeKalb County School District is taking to remedy this egregious constitutional violation.
I can’t wait to hear the response. It’s never good when a man who’s supposed to enforce the law is breaking it himself.
By the way, according to Redditor omnicidial, who first noticed this violation, that video was taken at 8:24 a.m., even though the school day starts at 8:00 a.m. If true, that event didn’t even take place before school. It took place during school, making the violation even more appalling.