Texas School District Continues to Promote Christianity in Classrooms Despite Multiple Warnings

The staff members at China Elementary in Texas’ Hardin-Jefferson Independent School District love children and Jesus and not necessarily in that order.

If you look at their website and social media, it seems like they promote Jesus every chance they get, mostly with the school’s illegal teacher-led “Hawks for Christ” group which they promote nonstop on their Facebook page (some of which have since been deleted). There’s also the Duck Dynasty dress-up day they had last year, and the school song which includes the words “God bless,” and the book fairs that include Christian books not sanctioned by Scholastic.

I know those dates are more than a couple of years old, but things haven’t gotten better in that time, despite the Freedom From Religion Foundation sending a letter to district officials calling them out on all of this.

The real problem here was that, with all the promotion, little kids were going to think their school was promoting Christianity. They would feel coerced into participating because it’s what the trusted adults at school seemed to want them to do. It’s not a position anyone should be putting them in.

On Friday, FFRF sent another letter to Superintendent Shannon Holmes with updated information about faculty members promoting religion and the Hawks for Christ group:

Freedom From Religion Foundation attorney Sam Grover first wrote to the school district about Hawks for Christ gathering before class at China Elementary in 2014.

Since then, the club has continued to meet “in largely the same format,” according to the letter sent on Friday.

The letter states that the club meetings, formerly teacher-run, are now being conducted by Hardin-Jefferson High School students affiliated with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Hawks for Christ clubs.

This still violates the Establishment Clause of the Constitution, according to Grover’s letter.

The letter also states that a second grade teacher read a “storybook version” of Jesus’s birth to her class and then compared the book to biblical text.

“For instance, we are told that (she) explained to her students that although the storybook said there were three wisemen (sic), the bible doesn’t say how many wisemen (sic) there were,” the letter said.

Since this District can’t get its act together, the only solution may be to fine them for every future violation. That tactic appears to be working in one Mississippi school district.

(Thanks to Brian for the link. Large portions of this article were published earlier)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.


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