Texas Superintendent Defends Principal Who Reads Bible Verses During Announcements, Calling His Actions “Neutral”

Last week, I posted a few recordings of White Oak High School (Texas) Principal Dan Noll reading Bible verses during morning announcements.

That’s obviously illegal. And it’s not the first time they’ve been caught violating church/state separation. The Freedom From Religion Foundation sent them a letter last October concerning prayers said over the loudspeakers during football games and coach-led prayers before the game. The district denied both charges.

They can’t deny the recordings, though. What’s amazing is how they haven’t even bothered to try.

Yesterday, Superintendent Michael Gilbert wrote this on his district blog:

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A Texas High School Student Recorded His Principal Reciting Bible Verses During Morning Announcements

Every morning, students at White Oak High School in Texas hear their morning announcements… along with a daily Bible verse read by Principal Dan Noll.

If you’re thinking that sounds illegal… you’d be right. The 1963 Supreme Court case Abington School District v. Schempp put a stop to school-sponsored Bible readings and subsequent rulings have only affirmed that idea.

Even Texas should’ve caught up with the law by now.

How do we know this is going on?

A student at the school recorded the announcements three separate times over the past month and provided me with the audio, which you can hear below for the first time:



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Christianity-Promoting School District Says It Will Look Into Teacher-Led Prayers and Nativity Re-Enactments

The other day, I posted about the Eastern Howard School Corporation, a school district that was frequently violating the Constitution with its promotion of Christianity.

Even when confronted with the problem, district officials didn’t seem to care. Superintendent Tracy Caddell said of any potential complaints: “I mean really, what is a parent going to say — that we want you to love my child less or show them less compassion?” He wrongly equated Christianity with compassion, and that mindset permeated throughout the district.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation very quickly sent a letter to Caddell. They sidestepped the more ambiguous endorsements of Christianity and zeroed in on the most obvious ones mentioned in Lauren Slagter‘s story about the district:



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Controversy Erupts at Maine High School After Students Are Told They Don’t Have to Stand for the Pledge

At South Portland High School in Maine, the students who read the morning announcements and lead the Pledge of Allegiance have created a controversy by letting their classmates know they don’t have to participate:



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Freedom From Religion Foundation Will Receive $82,765.95 from Reddit

Reddit recently announced a program in which it will give away 10% of its advertising revenue to various charities. It amounts to more than $82,000 per group.

There was a mad scramble for organizations to get votes — including a number of atheist-friendly groups — and Reddit just announced the winners. Coming in 9th place and winning $82,765.95?

The Freedom From Religion Foundation!



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