An activist atheist group announced Monday it successfully censored an Ohio school’s social media account because it had “religious tweets.”
The Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a letter Jan. 25 to the law firm for Dalton Local Schools because Superintendent James Saxer had used the school account to tweet several religious-themed messages. Saxer’s apparently offensive tweets included, “What an amazing way to end a Concert! In His Presence!” and “God Bless America” as well as “Pray our Kindergarten students have a wonderful Christmas program tonight!”
“Anyone viewing this school-sponsored Twitter feed would understand that the superintendent is endorsing his personal religion over others,” FFRF said in the letter. “Public schools may not advance, prefer or promote religion. It is inappropriate and unconstitutional for district administrators to promote religion in general, or Christianity specifically, while acting in their official capacity as a district representative.”
The district’s law firm replied to the atheist group saying many of the accusations were unfounded.
“There is no support for the proposition that statements such as ‘God Bless America,’ ‘Good leaders must first become good servants’ and using the word ‘Amen’ in agreement with a point somehow constitute the promotion of religious beliefs,” the letter reads.
The district did agree, though, that Saxer would get a separate, personal Twitter account clearly not affiliated with the school in an effort to “eliminate any allegation of a blurring of the lines.”
“Religion in our schools is divisive,” FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor said in a statement. “A public school official should not be misusing his authority to broadcast personal religious views on the school’s dime and time.”
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