Professing Christian Mother Sues Over ‘Religious Indoctrination’ in Louisiana Public School District

WEBSTER PARISH, La. — The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed suit against a school district in Louisiana on behalf of a professing Christian mother who is unhappy that teachers, principals and others in the district have promoted Christianity during school hours and at school events.

“Since enrolling two of her daughters in the Webster Parish School District more than 12 years ago, Plaintiff Christy Cole has become increasingly alarmed by the pervasive religious indoctrination to which students in the district are subject,” the suit reads.

One of her daughters has since graduated and the other is still in high school.

“Christy Cole believes her daughter and all students should be able to attend public school without exposure to government-sponsored religious practices and messages, and without harassment for their religious beliefs,” the complaint explains.

While Cole was brought up in the Baptist denomination, and says she values her faith, she still objects to Christianity being promoted in public schools and believes that “praying in public is a sin.” At least one of her daughters identifies as agnostic.

“K.C. has felt and feels coerced, both directly and indirectly, to participate in religious activities and expression that did not and do not comport with her personal beliefs,” the legal challenge outlines. “She feels that she has been subjected to unwelcome indoctrination.”

Cole says that students read a prayer daily over the loudspeaker, and that prayer is incorporated into sporting events and assemblies. Christianity has also been discussed by teachers at times, and graduation ceremonies are held at local churches.

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Cole additionally states that in 2014, eighth grade students were walked to the gym to be introduced to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes group. The school went on lockdown due to a security issue at the time, and one of the representatives of the Fellowship decided to preach to the students. Cole says that a student began crying because they did not want to hear the message, and that her daughter was also upset that she could not leave.

“On the morning of November 7, 2017, Lakeside held a mandatory assembly featuring You Are Worth It (YAWI), a religious nonprofit corporation in Monroe, Louisiana,” the lawsuit states. “Although YAWI’s promoted purpose is to caution teens and young adults against drunken driving, YAWI’s president, Bill Baldridge, also proselytizes and urges audiences that ‘faith in God’ will help them overcome obstacles and achieve success.”

The following day, a local minister spoke to students during a Veterans Day assembly.

Cole and the ACLU are seeking a declaratory judgment that the district’s practices violate the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution, as well as an injunction against any further promotion of Christianity.

Read the complaint in full here.

“Being subjected to unwelcome religious indoctrination should not be the price of getting a public education in Webster Parish,” Heather Weaver, senior staff attorney for the ACLU, said in a statement. “Webster Parish is a textbook example of why government-sponsored religious indoctrination is so harmful and why our country’s founders took pains to prevent it. The aggressive and pervasive religious proselytizing by Webster Parish School District has made our client feel unwelcome at her own school and shunned by her peers and teachers. This needs to stop…”

The district has not yet commented on the matter.

As previously reported, in 1828, just 41 years after the signing of the U.S. Constitution, 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.”

Noah Webster’s famous “Blue Back Speller” referenced Christianity, including God-centered statements in reading lessons such as “The preacher is to preach the gospel,” “Blasphemy is contemptuous treatment of God,” and “We do not like to see our own sins.”

The first textbook used in the American colonies even before the nation’s founding, “The New England Primer,” was likewise largely focused on the Scriptures, and was stated to be popular in public and private schools alike until approximately the early 1900’s. It used mostly the King James Bible as reference, and spoke much about sin, salvation and proper behavior.

“Save me, O God, from evil all this day long, and let me love and serve Thee forever, for the sake of Jesus Christ, Thy Son,” it read.


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  • Maxwell Edison

    While Cole was brought up in the Baptist denomination, and says she values her faith, she still objects to Christianity being promoted in public schools and believes that “praying in public is a . sin.”

    Only the Bible doesn’t say that. Jesus was actually cautioning against praying in public if you are making a spectacle out of it. That’s vanity.

    • MCrow

      He said to go into a closet and pray. She interprets that quite literally, and apparently her church does as well

      • Maxwell Edison

        I’m a Baptist, kiddo. One who attends a Baptist church and reads his Bible daily. Not once has my pastor ever preached that, because the Bible doesn’t say it.

        • MCrow

          Matthew 6:6

          • Maxwell Edison

            Matthew 6:5

          • skinnercitycyclist

            So why did you deny the existence of the verse above? It clearly says what it clearly says.

          • Maxwell Edison

            Who said I did? The word you are looking for is “context.”

          • ppp777

            Good man .

          • MCrow

            Doesn’t negate the specific instructions: don’t pray in public, pray behind closed doors.

          • Maxwell Edison

            Again, words out of context. Stop being intellectually dishonest.

          • skinnercitycyclist

            Stop being intellectually a pettifogger.

            Maxwell Edison: “Not once has my pastor ever preached that, because the Bible doesn’t say it.” Yet, Matthew 6:5 contradicts you.

            You are another of those dishonest Bible-fondlers who wants it to say what you want it to say.

          • Maxwell Edison

            Pardon me, but if you are trying to troll me, the least you can do is get things right:

            1) The woman in the article says we should only pray in secret.

            2) The Bible does not say that.

            3) MCrow referred to Matthew 6:6.

            4) I referred to Matthew 6:5, as both 5 and 6 are meant to be taken together as Jesus was talking about people who pray in public only to draw attention to themselves.

            5) My pastor has not said otherwise. Neither has a single person that has ever graced the pulpit of my church.

            6) You seem to think you can claim oneupmanship when you cannot even get the verses right:

            And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

            That is Matthew 6:5.

            I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

            This is 1 Timothy 2:8, in which Paul is telling Timothy about prayer, and reasons for it.

            7) Sit down.

            8) Shut up.

          • skinnercitycyclist

            You remain full of shit. Your interpretation follows the usual Xian practice of making it mean whatever the hell you want it to mean. J-man is clearly telling people to pray in private. You are adding to the text to twist it to mean what you feel most comfortable with.

          • Maxwell Edison

            Aaaannnd flagged for profanity.

            The thing is, I actually read the Bible. Every day. How about you?

          • skinnercitycyclist

            Weeeeeeeell, there’s an argument, get your panties in a twist because someone said a bad word. You are truly pathetic. And no one gives a rat’s patoot about your hollow book. Buh-bye.

          • Maxwell Edison

            It’s a blatant violation of house rules to use profanity here. Not that you’d have any respect for Christians on a Christian website.

          • getstryker

            You have defended our faith accurately and well. Bravo!

          • LadyInChrist♥ThankYouJesus

            Would you be willing to pray for the Christians on this site? And also pray for the ones coming to this site who hate us ? And mostly pray for Maxwell Edison?

          • getstryker

            I’d be happy to pray for anyone. If you will take the lead and alert me to a specific person or situation – I would join you!
            I will send my email address after you respond to this.

          • LadyInChrist♥ThankYouJesus

            Thank you. There is someone who goes by the name BobRumba. He is trying to get people to come to this site to give Christians a hard time. My prayer is for them them to be stopped and also that they may come to God through Christ in repentance. Much prayer is needed.

          • getstryker

            I will provide you my email address now . . . please write it down and after a few minutes, I will delete the post. I would suggest that you delete the post you just send be as well.
            Please send your prayer requests directly to my email.
            I live in California so you have an idea of time zones . . . I’m also a ‘night owl’ – MY EMAIL IS BELOW
            getstryker@ (g) mail(dot)com . . . you’ll have to put it back
            together again . . . I don’t know if they allow email addresses or not.
            I WILL DELETE THIS IN 3 MINUTES

          • getstryker

            Did you get my email address? Please send me an email to that address so I can confirm it.

          • getstryker

            please delete your comment

          • skinnercitycyclist

            Waah. I said “buh-bye.”

          • Maxwell Edison

            So you are leaving. Buh-bye to you, too.

          • MCrow

            So this is metaphorical, but Genesis 1 isn’t?

        • MCrow

          Matthew 6:6

  • james blue

    If only half those claims are true alarm bells should be ringing.

    It is our responsibility to raise our children in our faith, not government. One might be fine all the time the school teaches what you agree with, but wait until they teach what you disagrees with.

    • Maxwell Edison

      *massive eye roll*
      Not this crap again.

      • james blue

        Guess you need to flag yourself for use of profanity.

        • Maxwell Edison

          Have to use it first, troll.

  • Reason2012

    Google public school islam and read all about the growing cases of kids being taught all about islam and not about Christianity in public schools. Then realize quite plainly that the ACLU and other “atheist” activists are really just islamic activists seeking to eradicate Christianity as Islam continues to be pushed.

    • Croquet_Player

      You keep posting this, and I did Google it, and I’m afraid I haven’t been able to find any public schools that have been “indoctrinating” students in Islam. You may be confusing “indoctrination” with ordinary teaching, in which students are taught the basics about a number of the world’s major religions, as part of world history. There’s a huge difference. A good education in history (and current events) includes knowing simple basics about Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, etc. If you can name a school, or a school district which has violated the law, I would welcome the information, as “indoctrination” as opposed to basic factual education, is illegal.

      • Terri Horn

        Look at Michigan schools especially Detroit. They are teach the five pillars of Islam, jihad, praying five times a day to Mecca. It is in the news BUT I lived close to Detroit and it IS happening

        • skinnercitycyclist

          Bullcrap. Post a link or be that liar.

        • Croquet_Player

          Again, I did a lengthy Google search, and I didn’t find anything alarming. Please believe me, this is a genuine and very serious concern of mine. I think all American public school children, (and everyone really) should have (and American students are are entitled to) a thorough education about all the world’s major religions. Just general knowledge about what various people believe (or don’t), how they practice, what the significant texts are, etc., etc. This is critical information people need in order to understand the world they live in. It doesn’t mean “teaching them how to practice a religion” it means “teaching them about religions.” You cannot be a well-educated person, and know little to nothing about all the various major religions, and the roles they play in human history.

          Now, let’s be clear. Teaching “about” religions is very different from “indoctrination” into a particular religious belief, or non-belief. I am hugely in favor of excellent, thorough, general education. I am not in favor at all of indoctrination, into belief, or non-belief, in any particular religion, or absence of religion. I honestly believe it is my patriotic duty to provide children with excellent, thorough, educations.

          It is with all sincerity I ask you, is there a public school, or school district you can point out to me, that has truly been attempting to indoctrinate public school children into Islam, or any religion, or absence of religion? Because I will immediately act to prevent it. I want young people to know all the general basics, about everything. I want them to be well educated. This is not indoctrination, this is education. Let’s be very clear about the difference.

          • Lark.62

            Yes. This.

          • Maxwell Edison

            Dude, enough. You’re a liar, and a proven liar. Take your anti-Christian bigotry back to JoeMyGod where it belongs.

          • Croquet_Player

            I’m not a dude, a liar, or an anti-Christian bigot. Three strikes! But hey, thanks for the nasty response to my serious and well-intended post. And at the holidays too! Merry Christmas!

          • Maxwell Edison

            Go away, troll. You are not welcome here.

          • Croquet_Player

            And best wishes to you for a happy and healthy new year.

          • LadyInChrist♥ThankYouJesus

            Be careful with these people they joined a new group formed by “BobRumba” to fight against Christians on this site and other Christian sites. They hate s so much even though they try to deny it. I have been praying for God to protect the Christians they hate. I will continue to be praying.

          • Maxwell Edison

            Be careful with these people, they have joined a new group formed by “BobRumba” to fight against Christians on this site and other Christian sites.

            Yep, and the spineless mod here will let them get away with it.

            I have been praying for God to protect the Christians they hate.

            Which would be all of them.

          • LadyInChrist♥ThankYouJesus

            That mod must hate us as much as these people hate us. I will be praying for that mod as well. It is sad the ones who owns this Christian site is letting this mod protect these Anti Christian trolls. I want to try to find out who the owners of this site are. I want to talk to them. Please pray for me that I can get in touch with the right person to talk about what’s going on here.The Christians on this site are my Brothers and sisters in Christ.My heart grieves over what is happening here to the Christians by the ones who hate us.

    • skinnercitycyclist

      Another “liar for Jesus,” eh? Don’t you people have a commandment about that?

      Oh, and BTW, genius, the ACLU defends the religious freedom of Christians as well as atheists, as in THIS VERY CASE.” Get a clue.

  • cadcoke5

    This lady is ignoring the fact that if the school is faithful to omit God, and seeks to provide a godless education that is consistent with atheism, it would be showing a preference for the atheist faith. The strong push in the public schools to promote an atheistic view of origins is where this shows the most.

    You can’t be faithful to one set of ideas, to the exclusion of others, and claim that you don’t promote one over the other.

    • james blue

      Do you have any examples of where a school has broadcast a denial of the existence of any God over the public address system? How about taking a class to an athletics club to have the club tell them there is no God?

      • cadcoke5

        When the intelligent design issue came up, the Atheists and courts were quick to say that even if the word “God” is not used, the intelligent design concept promotes God. Likewise, a godless explanation of origins promotes the idea of Atheism.

        • james blue

          Intelligent design no more belongs in a science class than evolution belongs in a bible class. There is no scientific basis to include it even without the mention of God.

          While the theory of origins doesn’t include God as there is no scientific basis to do so, it doesn’t exclude him.

          Do you have any examples of the things I asked?

          • cadcoke5

            The teaching in the public school is deliberately consistent with an Atheistic, or at least Deistic, view of things, and at times making statements that are in opposition to other faiths. Your own statement that the Bible does not belong in a science class is an example. The teachers union is one of the bodies that will often take legal action to prevent any science oppose to evolution, or in favor of an intelligent design. If it acts like a duck, it is a duck. In this case, the duck is either Atheism or Deism. But I do recall one specific example from my school days, that comes pretty close to being Atheistic/Deistic theology. I recall being shown the Cosmos film in school. In it Carl Sagan started the show by saying, “The Cosmos is all that is, or ever was, or ever will be.” Is this a proven scientific fact? Or is he just seeking to share a bit from his brand of faith?

            Regarding keeping the bible and science separate; both evolution and to a large extent, the bible, are about history. Evolution seeks to imagine a story, that ends with the evidence we have before us now. The bible, simply has recorded facts by either eye-witnesses, or communicated by God to his prophets. And then there are creationists who examine the physical evidence that support the Biblical version of history. There are plenty of scientific arguments to be made here. That you reject them, does not cause them to cease being science.

          • james blue

            Tosh. It is absolutely acceptable to challenge evolution and every other scientific theory, but it has to be done in a scientific manner. Unless you can show a creator, be it God or the flying spaghetti monster, creation and ID are faith, not science.

          • ppp777

            Evolution is a fairy tail for adults and should never be taught in schools , never mind in science classes .

          • cadcoke5

            Likewise, unless you can demonstrate evolution, it is a spaghetti monster itself.

            The closest they have come to a claimed demonstration of evolution, is the E-coli bacterium, that Richard Lenski grew and after 31,500th generations, was reported to have “evolved” the ability to metabolize citrate. However, it is not clear to me if it really evolved. I have heard that the E-coli already had the ability to metabolize the citrate, and normally do so, but only with citrate that is inside its cell walls. So, the “evolution” may be described by saying that it “devolved” its ability to block the transfer of citrate through its cell walls. In other words, something broke, rather than being created.

            The above may be like saying a house “evolved” the ability to cool off after a storm knocked a tree over, that broke some windows. But, I think that is more properly termed decay. For that house to really have evolved, when winter came, a lighting strike would melt the broken glass on the ground, and then a tornado would place the molten glass into place to form a new window.

            Another commonly proposed observation of evolution happening, is antibiotic resistance. But, now that biologists have finally started to look at the function of what they used to call “junk” DNA, it has shown itself to often be regulatory, and can turn some parts of DNA on or off. In other words, a bacteria may already have the ability to be antibiotic resistant, but just needs to turn that switch on, if it were off. Such on/off settings have been shown to be something that can be inherited. Furthermore, antibiotic resistant bacteria have been discovered in ice that was frozen before the development of antibiotics.

            Now, both the evolutionary and creationist perspective claim to have physical evidence that creation happened in the past, following their theory. But, this is a very different type of science. When you do forensic work, it is not normally a question if your evidence is accurate. Rather, it is a question of if your imagination is accurate.

            For an example of the accuracy of one’s imagination being the main thing for forensics; Why do the planets move in the sky the way they do? Ptolemy imagined the planets embedded in series of crystal spheres that were around the Earth. Copernicus imagined the planets going around the Sun in a perfect circle. Unfortunately for Copernicus, his calculations were actually less accurate at predicting the movements of the planets than Ptolemy’s. But, eventually Kepler imagined that the paths of the planet were elliptical that the solar centric idea had more evidence to support it…. well except for the anomaly of Mercury’s orbit…. etc.

            Evolutionists imagine that lava should reset its atomic clocks, so that you can use radiometric dating to determine when lava was formed. Thus, you can date fossils based on that. But, in many cases, the lava from known modern dates can be dated to be millions of years old. Why then assume that the fossils are being properly dated? Why would diamonds have apparent 14C dates (if we assume 14C dates that are the same as now) that show 20-40 thousand years. I don’t think evolutionists or creationists have physical evidence for a reason for those dates to be what they are. Some evolutionists have imagined that maybe radiation from thorium and uranium created the 14C. But since diamonds are not minded from uranium, perhaps a spaghetti monster added the 14C, or another story has to be imagined. Creationists have imagined that perhaps 14C generation was reduced before the flood, which would make pre-flood items look older by their 14C dates. But, what is the evidence for the reduced formation of 14C before the flood?

            So, the evolutionist is generally in the same boat as the creationists.

          • james blue

            That’s a whole lot of stuff from a creationist site.

          • ppp777

            Theory of evolution belongs in the bin .

  • ppp777

    With ” friends ” like her who needs enemies .

  • NCOriolesFan

    12 years ago is like all the women who waited 40 years to complain about Judge Roy Moore.