School district caught censoring Christian 'signature'

April 9, 2023
World Net Daily

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

The Loudon County School District in Virginia, already well-known for its leftist agenda and ideology, is being warned by a legal team that it needs to cut out the censorship of a Christian "signature" on its school emails.

At issue is a statement one teacher had attached to her emails when responding, a reference from the Bible.

The district has no policy on the issue, and other teachers attach a random assortment of other statements, quotes from a variety of authors, and even pictures, to their signatures.

However, according to Liberty Counsel, the school ordered one high school teacher to "remove her non-school-sponsored, private expression of a Bible verse from her email signature block."

Liberty Counsel dispatched a demand letter to the school, and it explained, "The directive" is "based solely on its perceived religious nature" and that it "constitutes religious discrimination in violation of the First Amendment and school district policy."

The legal team explained, "This teacher seeks to inspire her students to excellence and the foundation for teaching is her personal faith in Jesus Christ. Because her faith is such a part of who she is, and inspires her life and work, she has included the Bible verse John 3:16 (“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life”), as part of her email signature block since she was hired at the school. After the teacher was directed to remove that verse, she proposed an alternative verse, Proverbs 23:6 (“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”). This was also rejected by the school district for the same reason: it was a Bible verse."

But, the lawyers pointed out, the district allows teachers to use "quotations, pictures, phrases, or pronouns that are intended to express the teachers’ personal views on a variety of subjects, and that are attributable to the teachers, and not to the school district."

One teacher, for example, quotes Cesar Chavez.

The superintendent, Dan Smith, claimed that the use of a Bible verse as a personal expression, "runs afoul of the Establishment Clause."

However, the legal team pointed out, "The First Amendment requires that the school district may not discriminate against the teacher’s private religious expression. In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court and various federal courts have confirmed that organizations and individuals holding a religious viewpoint may not be subject to discrimination or censorship on the basis of that viewpoint."

"The decisions from the Supreme Court involving the Christian flag and Coach Kennedy send a clear message that the ‘Lemon Test’ has finally been buried and government must not discriminate based on religious viewpoint. Loudoun County Public Schools cannot discriminate against a teacher who wants to use a Bible verse in her signature when other teachers are including nonreligious quotes," explained Liberty Counsel founder Mat Staver.

His organization won at the Supreme Court in two different cases: one involving the use of a public forum in Boston to fly a Christian flag, a location where dozens of other themed flags already had flown. The Kennedy case involved a Christian expressing a private prayer on a football field after a game.

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