FFRF stops Christian class at Ohio school
A legal complaint by FFRF has halted an unconstitutional sectarian
Christian class at an elementary school in Leipsic (Ohio) Local School
District. Leipsic Elementary School had reportedly been holding a
weekly sectarian Christian class since at least 2018, in which
Christian beliefs were taught and promoted.
Although it was titled a “Christian History Class,” it was similar to
bible study. These classes were held on school grounds during school
hours, as well as publicized on the school’s official Facebook page.
FFRF was notified about these classes by a concerned parent, who
reportedly had to personally request their child not be included, which
led to bullying, isolation and even physical assault of the child.
Public schools may not provide religious instruction, FFRF emphasized.
A seminal Supreme Court case in 1948 specifically held that religious
instruction classes in public schools are unconstitutional. More than
70 years of Supreme Court precedent protects the secular character of
public education, as well as the rights of conscience of a captive
audience of young students. “It does not matter that Leipsic Elementary
School allows parents to opt their children out of the religious
class,” FFRF Anne Nicol Gaylor Legal Fellow Sammi Lawrence wrote to
Superintendent Greg Williamson. “Voluntariness does not excuse the
Williamson recently reported back to FFRF that “The Leipsic Local
School District will no longer offer the Christian history class on
campus during the school day.