A school district in Whitesburg, Ky., Removed several religious exhibits – including a Bible verse emblazoned on the wall of a high school locker room – after an atheist group complained. This group, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, wrote about it in a blog post this week. According to the organization, they were contacted by a resident who raised concerns about public schools in Letcher County following “several instances where the district has promoted and approved religious messages.” .
The foundation released a photo showing Letcher Central High School had a Bible verse on display in its locker room, stating, “But the Lord is with me like a mighty warrior. Jeremiah 20:11.” In a letter sent to the school principal in November, the group claimed that the district “violates the Constitution when it allows its schools to display religious symbols or messages.”
It was the group’s second second complaint in two months. He also sent a letter in October about two other cases in the school district – a college with a sign in its hallway that said “Jesus is my savior. You can’t scare me!” and an elementary school that posted a prayer on its official Facebook page.
“In recognition of the district’s constitutional obligation to remain neutral to religion, please immediately withdraw all religious manifestations from the district,” Freedom From Religion Foundation said in second letter to Letcher County Public School Superintendent , Denise Yonts.
Yonts responded and removed all of the posts the group mentioned. “The bulletin board has been replaced, the Facebook post has been removed and the locker room has been repainted,” Yonts replied in a letter.
Yonts told CBS News in a statement Thursday that she and the Letcher County Board of Education “support the religious freedoms of our students in our schools.” While the district removed these particular postings, she noted that “student-generated religious displays, clubs or activities are a very significant part of the culture of Letcher County schools.”
“After receiving complaints from the FFRF, I consulted the board attorney for advice and we followed the law regarding religious protests,” Yonts said. “Only screens that we felt did not comply with the law were removed. “