TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — A religious display has been removed from a Vigo County School Corporation Classroom after a complaint was filed with the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
According to the Freedom From Religion Foundation article, the school corporation removed a Christian display from an English teacher’s classroom after a “concerned parent informed FFRF that an English teacher at Honey Creek Middle School, Terre Haute, Ind., had a Latin cross and a bible quote hanging on the wall of the classroom.”
The article goes on to explain that the display also had a specific line of religious text incorporated, reading, “Jeremiah 29:11, ‘For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord.’”
FFRF then noted in the article that the organization contacted the school corporation to “protect the First Amendment rights of the school’s students.” FFRF Anne Nicol Gaylor Legal Fellow Sammi Lawrence wrote to Superintendent Christopher A. Himsel requesting the cross and bible verse display be removed.
“In recognition of the district’s constitutional obligation to remain neutral toward religion, please remove this cross and bible verse display from [the] classroom, as well as any other religious displays [the district] becomes aware of in its schools,” Lawrence wrote.
The FFRF article went on to note that the religious display “needlessly alienated the students who are part of the 49 percent of Generation Z that is religiously unaffiliated.”
The VCSC responded via legal representation and notified the FFRF that the cross had been removed.
VCSC superintendent Chris Himsel provided a statement regarding the situation:
“We recognize the fact that we serve many families and employ many people who exercise a variety of different religious beliefs and practices. As a public school corporation, we also recognize that we must balance an individual’s right to exercise one’s religious beliefs in a manner that does not intentionally or unintentionally force the beliefs onto others.”