A note not intended for the public’s eyes was sent out to all staff at East Lake Elementary School, commanding them to remove all religious items from their classrooms, and directed staff to watch how they refer to holiday parties as well.
Todd Starnes, writing for Fox News, reported Tuesday that a reader had sent him a copy of the new guidelines from the Henry County School District in Georgia.
School spokesman J.D. Hardin confirmed that the document was sent out to staff on Monday – but, whoops – it wasn’t intended to be seen by the public. “It was not intended as something that was supposed to be shared or put out with public consumption,” he told Starnes. “It was more of a directive for our administrators to remind their employees of this particular law that is in pace as dictated by the federal government.
“The Establishment Clause stipulates that the government may not promote or affiliate itself with any religious doctrine or organization,” Hardin said. “Henry County Schools is a government entity.”
The school’s document to the staff included the following:
“You are hereby directed to remove all items which contain religious symbols, such as crosses, printed bibles, angels, bible verses, printed prayers, and biblical quotations from the common areas, hallways, classrooms, and office of East Lake Elementary School.
Further…religious and biblical references should not be included in notes to parents, email signature lines, or any other correspondence sent on behalf of East Lake Elementary School.
Finally, please remember that all references to holiday parties should comply with the Henry County School District’s Policy, Procedure and Practices for Holidays.”
Starnes noted that the note made no mention of prayer rugs or the Koran, and wondered if the school would also ban Jewish boys from wearing yarmulkes or Muslim girls from wearing hijabs.
Hardin told Starnes that the teachers were still allowed to wear religious jewelry, as long as it’s just “small trinkets.”
They cannot have a Bible or any other type of religious items on their desk.
Starnes asked if the Bible is banned from the school library as well? “That’s a good question,” Hardin answered. “I don’t know that we have any Bibles within our libraries.”
“Jesus just got kicked out of public schools in Henry County, Georgia,” Starnes wrote.
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