Of all the things a public high school could write on its marquee, which everyone can see as they enter or drive past the school, there are plenty of decent options: “Good luck, graduates!” “We miss you!” “Keep studying even in quarantine!”
Instead, the Judson Independent School District in Live Oak, Texas went with a religious message:
The American Humanist Association is now warning the district against the promotion of religion. Legal Director and Senior Counsel Monica Miller sent them a letter urging them to put a stop to the faith-based messages.
While we appreciate trying to bring comfort in a time of crisis, this display serves only to divide students, faculty, and staff along religious lines and alienate those who do not believe in prayer. This letter demands assurances that you will refrain from posting religious messages on the marquee or anywhere else on public school grounds.
It’s not just a problematic sign for religious reasons, it’s a useless message. Prayer isn’t going to stop the pandemic or help students perform better on exams. Notice they didn’t even say “study and pray” or “pray and take action” — they went with “just pray,” implicitly dismissing all the actually helpful things students and parents could be doing right now.
If that’s what this place is teaching, you have to wonder what, if anything, the students ever learned inside.