Victories: In Schools | First Liberty

Religious Liberty Issues

Victories: In Schools

January 27, 2016

MacKenzie_2Mackenzie Fraiser

Officials at Somerset Academy denied 12-year-old Mackenzie Fraiser the right to use a Bible verse in a class assignment. After First Liberty sent a demand letter to the school informing them of Mackenzie’s rights, the school apologized and agreed to allow Mackenzie to resubmit her original project with her favorite Bible verse, John 3:16, Liz.

Giovanni RubeoRubeo

A teacher at Park Lakes Elementary School in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, ordered Giovanni Rubeo to stop reading his Bible during free reading time, saying, “Put it on my desk.” The teacher then left a voicemail for Giovanni’s father, telling him that “those books” were not allowed in her classroom. First Liberty Institute sent a letter to the school, demanding an official apology and restoration of students’ rights. The school rescinded the threats, ensuring that Giovanni and his peers may now read their Bibles during free time.

Audrey Jarvisaudreyjarvis

A supervisor told Audrey Jarvis, a self-described Catholic, that she must remove her cross necklace while working at a student orientation fair at her university. With the assistance of First Liberty Institute attorneys, Audrey filed a religious accommodation request with the university. Sonoma State University later issued a formal apology to Audrey.

 Angela HildenbrandAngela-H

A federal judge threatened valedictorian Angela Hildenbrand with jail if she prayed during her graduation speech. First Liberty Institute successfully defended Angela and the rights of students nationwide to express  their faith during graduation speeches.

Dear Coach Kennedy,

I would like to say thank you. Your dedication to your faith and your commitment to the positive education of our youth is truly admirable. I am deeply grateful for your military service and for taking a courageous stance in protecting religious liberty rights for teachers and administrators.

If our First Amendment protects a player’s right to kneel in protest, it certainly protects your right to kneel in prayer.

I was shocked to learn that Bremerton High School suspended you after denying your request to continue your wholesome practice of giving thanks after football games.

The Bremerton School District’s actions violate the law and send the wrong message to coaches, young people, our communities, and our nation — a message of hostility to religious freedom and intolerance toward personal religious expression.

Please know that you are not alone in this difficult time — I support you and First Liberty as you continue to fight for religious freedom! Our schools need more coaches like you, our country needs more citizens like you, and our world needs more people like you.