For years, Cottondale Elementary School’s Christmas display included a Nativity scene, in addition to other popular symbols, including Santa and Rudolph. This year, however, the Nativity sits in a school storage closet because of concerns over so-called “separation of church and state.”
Principal Brenda Jones told WJHG News that the decision was made after a discussion with the Florida Department of Education.
“The Department of Education came in and talked to us about the legalities of religion in the school system and the separation of the two,” said Jones. “So, I came back and talked to the faculty about the law and the way it’s written, and trying to be fair to all people, decided that we just would not put the Nativity scene out on campus.”
Former board member Betty Duffee told the Jackson County Floridian that she believes it is a “tragic thing,” but something she thinks the principal had to do because of “people in the community that are threatening to sue the school board, and it costs a tremendous amount of money to defend something you know you will lose.”
The War on Christmas becomes more heated each year as radical groups become more aggressive in their attacks. Unfortunately, our nation’s schools seem to be the prime target for groups like Freedom From Religion Foundation, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and the ACLU, who use intimidation to further their agenda. They threaten lawsuits and rely on the fact that school districts and administrators will cave before entering into costly legal battles.
Liberty Institute can help. First, we provide students, parents and teachers with important information on their religious rights in the school through our nationwide initiative, The Angela Project.
Second, we provide legal representation free of charge to families and school districts facing legal threats from these radical groups.
As the attacks on our religious freedom increase, your financial support is now more crucial than ever. Because when we have the money to defend our constitutional freedoms, we are very effective…and we can WIN. We have won over 99 percent of our cases, and with your help, we can maintain that record and continue to defend the religious rights of our nation’s 50 million public school students.
About Liberty Institute
Liberty Institute is a nonprofit legal group dedicated to defending and restoring religious liberty across America — in our schools, for our churches and throughout the public arena. Liberty’s vision is to reestablish religious liberty in accordance with the principles of our nation’s Founders. For information, visit www.LibertyInstitute.org.