District unnecessarily caves to atheists’ threats

Sep 29, 2016 by

A small school district in Missouri is one of the latest to be threatened with a lawsuit by an atheist group – but parents and students are fighting back.

When the Freedom From Religion Foundation threatened earlier this month to sue District R-VI in Tipton unless it ceased prayers before board meetings, stopped singing a hymn at school events, and removed a portrait of Jesus, school officials quickly surrendered. The district superintendent told FOX News’ Todd Starnes that after reviewing its practices, the district discontinued those “that could be construed as an endorsement of religion.”

OneNewsNow sought comment from Liberty Counsel founder and chairman Mat Staver, who says there was no need for the district to do that.

Staver

“It’s unfortunate that this school is just simply bowing down without a fight to the Freedom From Religion Foundation, removing the song and now potentially permanently removing the picture of Jesus,” he offers. “Neither one of these violate the Constitution.”

FFRF had argued that “school-sponsored religious exhibitions” (such as the hymn singing) and praying before meetings were unconstitutional. And Superintendent Daniel Williams, after consulting with school attorneys, expressed concern about getting into a lengthy and expensive legal battle.

“We are here to serve and we are caught in the middle, in a vice-grip,” Williams told parents. “We are taxed with upholding the law and educating students. Parents are the one who instill values and morals.”

Upset by the administration’s capitulation, hundreds of concerned parents attended a recent event sponsored by “Stand Up for Tipton” to express their anger. Staver thinks they should push back.

“Well, the parents ought to be upset,” the attorney adds. “They ought to demand for both the song and the picture to be returned. There’s no reason for these to be removed in the first place.”

Stand Up for Tipton co-founder Sherry Kuttenkuller says the purpose of the meeting was not to protest but to educate citizens on their constitutional rights.

According to LakeExpo.com, several positive things have come out of the controversy – specifically, increased attendance at Fellowship of Christian Athletes meetings; and T-shirts designed by Tipton basketball players displaying “God Matters” and the scripture verse from Galatians 5:1.

But that same report says a principal told some students that those wearing the T-shirts will be forced to take them off if a fellow student reports being offended by the message.

Source: District unnecessarily caves to atheists’ threats

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