The superintendent of the White Oak Intermediate School District in Texas is taking a very bold and foolish stance after the FFRF challenged them on daily bible verse readings by the principal over the school’s PA system. He says he knows all about it and will do nothing to stop it. Then he makes some really stupid arguments.
Recently, I have been contacted by two concerned residents of White Oak ISD and legal counsel from the Freedom From Religion Foundation concerning the use of scripture in the “Thought for the Day” at the high school.
The residents were offended at the use of scripture, demanding that it be stopped and calling for disciplinary action against Mr. Noll. I am fully aware of the practice at the high school and will not pursue any action against our High School Principal or any other member of our faculty/staff concerning this issue.
The letter from the FFRF is not the first received by the district. They contacted us in the fall with concerns about the practices at our football games. I have responded in accordance with their stated concerns and we have moved on.
Let me be clear, this is an attempt to draw us into a contest of words for the sole purpose of giving the FFRF a large amount of free press/recognition that they and their very few members (1,200 in Texas) do not deserve. This group and others like it, are wanting us to provide them with negative quotes to use in the promotion of their agenda. We can and will make the adjustments needed to ensure our students experience a morally sound, positive character based education. There are a multitude of options to provide our students, faculty and staff the opportunity to express their First Amendment Rights as provided for in the United States Constitution. Let me also be clear that we have not (in my opinion) violated anyone’s rights and/or subjected anyone to undue stress. Bible studies and scriptures are allowed in schools. The requirement is that the material be presented in a neutral manner. It is my position that we met that standard with the morning announcements.
My recommended response to the FFRF is, “I’m sorry you feel that way. I will be praying for you and your staff daily.”
Can we please stop putting stupid people in charge of our schools? Who the hell is their attorney? He can’t possibly have told them that the school is on firm legal ground here. I just hope FFRF can find a plaintiff willing to file suit here so the proselytizing theocrats at this school can get what’s coming to them. But if this is what the superintendent thinks, you can bet that the community contains many people who are willing to threaten, harass and maybe even commit violence against anyone who does so.