A public school teacher who was promoting Christianity with excessive displays of symbolism in her classroom in Wisconsin has removed the items after a formal complaint from an atheist father.
The Roosevelt Elementary School teacher reportedly had a cross, a poster that read “In God We Trust,” a “God Bless America” sign, and other prominently displayed Christian paraphernalia. That didn’t go over well with Rob Moore, a parent of one of her students and the president of a local chapter of the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
He claims for five months, he told the district about how the teacher’s decorations made his family uncomfortable, before lawyers became involved.
Moore is an outspoken Atheist, and the president of a chapter with the Freedom From Religion Foundation. He claims as soon as the Foundation’s lawyer sent a letter to the district two weeks ago, the teacher took it all down.
“She’s a loving teacher and cares about the kids. She’s misguided,” said Moore.
While not all the parents of the students in that class were offended or upset, there’s no doubt that this particular teacher was promoting her religion in a way that violated the Establishment Clause. That’s what FFRF said in their letter to the District.
“The district violates the Constitution when it allows its schools to display religious symbols or messages,” FFRF Staff Attorney Ryan Jayne writes to Kenosha District Superintendent Sue Savaglio-Jarvis. “Public schools may not advance, prefer, or promote religion. The teacher’s religious classroom decorations violate this basic constitutional prohibition by creating the appearance that the district prefers religion over nonreligion, and Christianity over all other faiths.”
Not everyone is happy the teacher removed the offending items. Some conservatives like FOX News Radio host Todd Starnes, who blamed the recent Florida school shooting on gays, abortion, and “the Devil,” are still upset despite the fact that the issue is resolved.
The atheists also took issue because there was a “Child’s Christian Bible” in the school library — “but no other religious texts.”
Oh, the horror…
If the phrase “In God We Trust” really triggers atheists, I can only imagine what sort of calamity might befall them at the Piggly Wiggly when they pull out a crisp dollar bill to pay for their kale chips and veggie burgers.
Perhaps they ought to switch to Bitcoin.
Ignoring Starnes’ attempt at a joke and jab at vegetarians, he completely ignores the legal argument FFRF was making. He ignores how the displays were blatantly unconstitutional. He ignores how, if a Muslim teacher put up symbols of her faith, he’d likely be calling for her firing. And he ignores how the teacher and administrators agreed with FFRF.
Moore himself said that he wasn’t offended by the displays, but that he thought the multiple promotions of God might be illegal. He was right. You’d think people like Starnes, who claim to be patriots with complete respect for the Constitution, would care a little more about maintaining the secular state envisioned by our country’s founders.