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Schools Not Allowed to Suppress Children’s Religious Freedom of Expression February 23, 2007

Posted by Daniel Downs in education, First Amendment, Freedom of Religion, news, politics, public schools, religion, secularism, Separation of Church and State, social issues.

One has to wonder about the real state of American society when schools suppress the expression of children’s religious beliefs. I came across a pending court case in which the boy and his parent filed a complaint against Abington Township School District administrators for violating the child’s Constitutional rights.

According to the Alliance Defense Fund, “school officials at Willow Hill Elementary School had required that students wear a costume at school on Halloween, or they would be isolated from the rest of the student body during the school’s parade and party. The 10-year-old student and his mother, out of Christian conviction, sought to avoid promoting Halloween and its pagan elements and determined that by wearing a Jesus costume the student could accomplish this goal while avoiding the compelled isolation imposed on those not wearing a costume.”

For the school principal to censor this young student at Halloween because he was dressed as Jesus is … yet another demonstration of just how hostile to Christianity public school officials have become,” said ADF Legal Counsel Matt Bowman.

It is obvious Whitemore Elementary School’s principal was versed on the interpretation of the First Amendment by the American Civil Liberty Union, but she was apparently ignorant of the federal guidelines on Religious Expression in Public Schools. These guidelines authorized by President Clinton were distributed to every public school superintendent in America. The following is the explanation of these guidelines by the Richard W. Riley, U.S. Secretary of Education:

“Schools may not forbid students acting on their own from expressing their personal religious views or beliefs solely because they are of a religious nature. Schools may not discriminate against private religious expression by students, but must instead give students the same right to engage in religious activity and discussion as they have to engage in other comparable activity.”

American history as it is etched in government buildings, witnessed at invocation of political proceedings, and written in every state constitution and previous state laws proves religious freedom was a public evangelical one, and not the privatized form of secularism.

America owes the ten year old and his parents gratitude for defending their rights. If more continue doing the same, Americans may once again live out their faith without fear of public reprisal.



1. kayinmaine - February 23, 2007

I always thought religion was expressed at home or in a church. Huh. Once you allow Christians to practice their religion in school, then you have to let the Muslims, the Buddhists, the Pagans also practice theirs. I would much rather have no religion being practiced within the walls of a public school, because as a mother, I want my child to learn while he is there. Learning about God is taught at home and in church and is felt in the heart during the rest of the time. No?

I’m an Atheist, but I completely believe in the freedom of practicing religion as long as it is not done in a way to force others to practice another’s beliefs.

Great post and nice blog too.

2. Mark - February 24, 2007

Why do we continue to believe that something we received by grace can be presented to others through law? Why do we stoop to allowing the world’s system to put a value on our religious convictions by giving a flying fig what they think? Blessed are you when men curse and revile you for my sake: Jesus

3. iggiy - June 2, 2008

some would consider the kkk to be a religous foundation, are we about to allow children to walk arround beating kkk simbols or hate signs or insignias?

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