LARUE, Texas (KETK) — A group of East Texas students are not backing down after a Wisconsin-based organization demanded a local school remove religious symbols from their campus.
According to LaPoynor Superintendent James Young, the Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a letter to the district after a former LaPoynor student contacted the organization following the school’s “See You at the Pole” event, in which Christian students around the nation gather at their school’s flag pole for prayer.
FFRF Associate Counsel Sam Grover, on behalf of the organization, says the district has recently committed several constitutional violations.
Complaints from the FFRF are outlined below:
1) During the school’s SYATP event, a Christian flag was placed on one of the flag poles. The FFRF says it’s unconstitutional for the school to display the flag bearing the Latin cross.
2) The district also promoted their SYATP event on their district’s social media pages, which the FFRF said violates the Establishment Clause.
3) The organization also said it was brought to their attention that the district’s Facebook page and website promoted their annual baccalaureate ceremony with a picture of a diploma on top of an opened Bible. They also claimed this violated constitutional law.
However, on Wednesday, students decided to fly Christians flags from their vehicles to demonstrate their passion for their personal beliefs.
The organization is calling for the immediate removal of the Christian flag from school grounds and for the district to ensure staff members are not organizing, promoting or participating in religious events while acting in their official capacities.
They are asking the district to inform them in writing the steps they are planning to take to “remedy these constitutional violations.”
In response to the letter from the FFRF, Superintendent Young released the following statement to KXAN sister station KETK on Wednesday:
LaPoynor ISD is in receipt of a letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation in which they take issue with some district practices regarding religious expression. As always, we appreciate members of our community bringing any matters of concern to our attention. We are in the process of reviewing the concerns addressed in the correspondence and will take any action deemed necessary.LaPoynor ISD is committed to achieving an appropriate balance between permissible religious expression and the obligation to maintain neutrality in its policies and practices.