Last October, a coalition of six different atheist groups sent a warning letter to Scott Smith, the superintendent of Louisiana’s Bossier Parish Schools.
They were concerned that the District was taking a strong stance in violation of the First Amendment. For example, Smith mandated that all football players had to stand during the National Anthem, preventing any form of a peaceful protest. That’s on top of the fact that football games had Christian prayers recited over the loudspeakers before games, something the Supreme Court has already ruled is illegal.
Weeks later, another group, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, sent its own letter to Smith because of additional First Amendment violations. They cited school events held at churches, prayers led by pastors in students’ locker rooms before football games, post-game prayers led by coaches, choir performances that included almost exclusively Christian worship music, classroom proselytizing, religious displays in classrooms and administrators’ offices, and the promotion of Creationism in the classroom.
Smith’s remarks to the media dismissed all the complaints:
“… until we are instructed by a higher authority to reverse our district’s stance, we stand firm,” Smith said. “A letter from groups whose goal is to establish a secular society void of traditional values does not come close to reflecting the ideals held in Bossier Parish and will not affect our stance whatsoever.”
“Traditional,” of course, is just code for “Christian.”
Read the full story at the Friendly Atheist Blog