Indiana School District Drops Nativity After Anti-Religion Groups Sue

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Casey Harper Contributor
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An Indiana school district says it will comply with a federal judge’s ban on its live nativity scene.

Concord Community School District put out a statement saying it will take the live nativity scene out of its annual Christmas performance after The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sued, USA Today reports. A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction Wednesday ordering the district to take the nativity scene out of the annual program.

“A live nativity is a shocking violation to encounter in a public school, which has no business directing students to engage in devotional, sectarian performances,” FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor says in a statement. “This decision is a win for everyone who recognizes that there can be no freedom of religious belief without freedom from religion in government and in our public schools.”

The district is considering an appeal, but the preliminary injunction suggests the judge is not friendly to their cause.

“Accordingly, the court finds that the plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits on their claim that the inclusion of the living Nativity scene in the show, as currently proposed, violates the Establishment Clause,” the judge writes.

The next step is a pre-trial conference set for Jan. 7.

“Holiday celebrations that proselytize students are inappropriate in public schools,” Heather L. Weaver, ACLU senior staff attorney, says in a statement. Weaver added that the “ruling makes that clear and ensures that all students and families, regardless of faith or belief, will feel welcome at Concord High’s winter concert.”

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