LARUE, Texas — A number of residents in the LaRue, Texas area attended a school board meeting on Thursday to show support for a Christian flag that is flying outside of a public school after one of the most conspicuous professing atheist organizations lodged a complaint.
According to local television station KLTV, James Young, the superintendent of the LaPoynor Independent School District, presented a letter from the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) during the meeting.
In the correspondence, the organization contends that a Christian flag flying outside of LaPoynor High School violates the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting the Establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” FFRF also states that it was improper for the school district to promote the national “See You at the Pole” student prayer day on its Facebook page.
It appears that the flag was flown to coincide with the “See You at the Pole” event, but it is unclear whether students raised the flag or if school officials did so.
“The district’s practice of displaying the Christian flag on school grounds and promoting religious events online has an exclusionary effect, turning non-Christian and non-believing students into outsiders,” FFRF’s letter read. “The district should be particularly mindful of being inclusive of minority religions and nonreligious people given that 44% of younger Americans … are non-Christian.”
It asked that the flag be removed.
“The district must immediately remove the Christian flag from school grounds. In addition, the district must ensure that its staff members are not organizing, promoting or participating in religious events while acting in their official capacities…,” FFRF wrote.
On Wednesday, an unspecified number of students flew Christian flags from their vehicles as a show of support for the presence of the flag. Members of the community then turned out for the school board meeting the following night. KLTV described the gathering as a “large crowd.”
“The Freedom From Religion organization really has a distorted and inaccurate view of the separation of Church and State in the First Amendment,” one attendee stated. “Matter of fact, I’d like to say that their viewpoint is probably void and alien to that of our founding fathers.”
Young asked any opposed to the presence of the flag to stand, but none did.
The district says that the flag will stay as it continues to deliberate the matter.
“We are in the process of reviewing the concerns addressed in the correspondence and will take any action deemed necessary,” it said in a statement prior to the meeting. “LaPoynor ISD is committed to achieving an appropriate balance between permissible religious expression and the obligation to maintain neutrality in its policies and practices.”
As previously reported, in 1828, just 52 years after the nation’s founding, Noah Webster, known as the Father of American Scholarship and Education, wrote, “In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government, ought to be instructed. … No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.”