Texas School District Finally Removes Bible Verse from Front Page of Its Website

A few months ago, I posted about how the Troup Independent School District in Texas had a Bible verse right on the front page of their website:

TroupISD

1 Samuel 17:48 says, “As Goliath moved closer to attack, David quickly ran out to meet him.” In Troup ISD we work to engender the spirit of attacking the problems that present themselves day in and day out. Teaching the students to run to meet the giants in their lives is a goal we fully embrace. Welcome to the Troup ISD web site. We trust that you will be able to find everything you are looking for and remember, you are always welcome at Troup ISD.

(They left out the part where David killed Goliath, then decapitated him.)

The Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a letter to the District in January reminding them that they cannot endorse religion in any way:

By quoting the bible on its website, the District unconstitutionally lends its power and prestige to Christianity, thereby excluding the nearly 30% of adult Americans who are non-Christian and the over 43% of younger Americans, those born after 1981, who practice a minority religion or no religion at all.

We ask that the District remove the bible quote from its website. Surely there is a religiously neutral story about overcoming great odds that could be referenced in place of this religiously-loaded one. Please inform us in writing of the steps the District takes to remedy this violation so that we can notify our complainant. Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.

It looks like the District has finally fixed the problem. Mostly.

The new front page lacks a Bible verse…

TroupWebsiteModified

… though you can see there’s still a reference to the David and Goliath story:

As the giant moved closer to attack, David quickly ran out to meet him. In Troup ISD we work to engender the spirit of attacking the problems that present themselves day in and day out. Teaching the students to run to meet the giants in their lives is a goal we fully embrace. Welcome to the Troup ISD web site. We trust that you will be able to find everything you are looking for and remember, you are always welcome at Troup ISD.

That’s not illegal in any way. Referencing a famous biblical story isn’t a problem. It’s just sorta weird, as if the goal of education isn’t becoming a better human being or preparing you for the future you want… but taking down your enemies.

In any case, FFRF is satisfied with the change:

“We’re satisfied that Troup County Independent School District has seen the light,” says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “Imposing biblical morality on public school students is not the way to go.”

It was a smart move on the part of the District. Because if they hadn’t relented, I’m sure we could’ve suggested some great passages from the Qur’an for administrators to include on that front page.

(Thanks to Randy for the link. Portions of this article were published earlier.

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