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Freedom From Religion Foundation Attacks Its Next School – Mt. Vernon ISD

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November 20, 2014

But Liberty Institute won’t let hostility toward religious freedoms in our nation’s schools stand!


Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) is at it again!  This time, FFRF is attacking Mt. Vernon Independent School District (ISD) in Mt. Vernon, Texas, over allegations of “overtly promoting religion.”

But what exactly were these “promotions”?  According to FFRF, the school is promoting religion by displaying motivational quotes, of which 5 out of over 100 are historical statements that mention God or the Bible; allowing the parent-teacher association to sell its T-shirts in the school; and allowing a teacher to display gifts that students gave to her, including some crosses.  FFRF has demanded that Mt. Vernon ISD create an action plan to end these religious “violations”—or else face legal retaliation!

LIBERTY INSTITUTE STANDS WITH THE SCHOOL DISTRICT

Liberty Institute is standing in full support of Mt. Vernon ISD.  The district has asked us for guidance on this issue, and we are working with district officials now to ensure that this allegation ends in a victory for Mt. Vernon.

“We’re committed to helping Mt. Vernon ISD protect free speech and religious liberty rights of students, parents, and teachers afforded them by the Constitution,” said Liberty Institute General Counsel Jeff Mateer.

Liberty Institute comes to the Mt. Vernon ISD matter prepped with a playbook of previous similar cases:

  • In September 2014, FFRF launched a similar assault on two Midlothian ISD schools, demanding that dedication plaques outside of the school be torn down because they contained a cross and were dedicated “in the Year of Our Lord.”  With Liberty Institute’s help, thousands of Midlothian friends and residents spoke out in opposition, and today the plaques remain untouched.
  • This past football season, FFRF attempted to bully the Arkansas State University football team into removing crosses from their football helmets, placed to memorialize two team members who recently passed away.  Liberty Institute blocked the attempt, sending a letter to the University that explained the constitutional protections of these memorial helmet decals.  The University decided to ignore FFRF and keep the helmet crosses.
  • In an effort to share positive and uplifting messages with their football players, the middle school and high school cheerleaders in Kountze, Texas, made a decision to paint Bible verses on run-through banners at games.  Their inspirational signs were suddenly banned after the superintendent received a complaint from FFRF.  Liberty Institute defended the cheerleaders at the district court and won.  The school district appealed the case, but we are confident that liberty will once again prevail at the Texas Supreme Court.

LIBERTY INSTITUE WILL FIGHT: CAN WE COUNT ON YOU?

In each of these cases, FFRF attempted to squelch religious liberty, and each time they were stopped by our top-notch legal defense.  Liberty Institute’s nine full-time constitutional attorneys—along with our network of dozens of volunteer attorneys—are the premier defenders of religious liberty in America, and are dedicated to protecting citizens like the students, staff, and parents at Mt. Vernon ISD.

But we need supporters like you to help Liberty Institute win against opponents like FFRF and make it possible for us to offer FREE, easy-to-understand resources for students, teacher, and school officials so they can know their religious liberty rights, including:

  • Know Your Religious Rights Kit – fully equips students, parents, and teachers to know their religious liberties in public schools and be prepared to defend and restore their rights when they come under attack.
  • Student Bill of Rights in Schools Brochure – a condensed version of our “Know Your Religious Rights” kit that gives a quick overview of students’ rights when it comes to religious speech, expression, or practice in public schools.
  • Teachers Guide – gives instructors great guidelines for how they can maintain their First Amendment rights—including freedom of religion and speech—in schools.

Your prayers and donations make the difference, and give our team the tools they need to outsmart opponents like FFRF, and defend victims of attack like the students, parents, and teachers in Mt. Vernon ISD’s schools.  So thank you for standing with us today!


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About Liberty Institute
Liberty Institute is a nonprofit legal group dedicated to defending and restoring religious liberty across America — in our schools, for our churches, in the military and throughout the public arena. Liberty’s vision is to reestablish religious liberty in accordance with the principles of our nation’s Founders. For information, visit www.LibertyInstitute.org.

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