An elementary school in Tennessee, after successfully rebuffing an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit over religious expression on campus, has nonetheless ordered the words "God Bless the USA" and "In God We Trust" covered up on student-made posters in the hallway.
Administrators at Lakeview Elementary School in Mt. Juliet, Tenn., told parents that the posters, promoting the See You at the Pole student prayer event, mentioned "God" and are therefore precluded by school board policy and prohibited in the hallways as inappropriate.
Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund, a legal alliance defending religious liberty, filed a lawsuit today on behalf of 10 parents and their children, seeking an injunction against banning private religious expression on student-made posters.
"Christian students shouldn't be censored for expressing their beliefs," said ADF Senior Counsel Nate Kellum in a statement. "It's ridiculous as well as unconstitutional to cover up these references to God and prayer – one of which is the national motto itself – on posters announcing a student-led activity."
Further, Kellum surmised, "School officials appear to be having an allergic reaction to the ACLU's long-term record of fear, intimidation, and disinformation, despite a previous court ruling at this very school that said students can observe these types of events on school property." ...(more)