Saturday, December 7, 2013

Liberty Institute Defends Bullied Teachers

IN THE SCHOOL

In a troubling case of blatant hostility to religion, Liberty Institute is representing teachers and staff of Georgia schools who have alleged “intimidation, discrimination, and even censoring of their religious liberty” by Bulloch County school district officials.

Earlier this year, Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AUSCS) began complaining to the school district about perceptions of excessive religious expression by teachers and other staff.  What ensued was apparently an atmosphere of fear and censorship.

SCHOOL IMPOSES "CULTURE OF FEAR" 
Liberty Institute attorney Jeremiah Dys, speaking to an emotionally charged meeting of the Bulloch County School Board Thursday night, told them,
“Unfortunately, it appears quite clear that Bulloch County Schools has created a situation in which teachers now fear the expression of their faith while at work.”
Liberty Institute is conducting an ongoing investigation.  Preliminary results, Dys told the School Board, point to the imposition of a “culture of fear” that has frightened many Christian teachers into silence.

At the end of his presentation, Dys presented each Board member with a letter on behalf of our clients demanding that the Board cease unconstitutional violations of the religious rights of its employees.  Dys presentation received a prolonged standing ovation by the audience of 250 at the meeting.

Liberty Institute Attorney Jeremy Dys speaking at the
Bulloch County School Board meeting. 

NATIONAL SPOTLIGHT SHINES ON DISCRIMINATION 
The Bulloch County Schools made national headlines just days earlier.  Fox News commentator Todd Starnes posted an article citing criticism of the school for taking down a public bulletin board where teachers traditionally displayed Christmas cards.  Suddenly and mysteriously, the display vanished.

Although the School Board accused Starnes of “terrorizing” the schools, other problems have surfaced.  Among them:
  • Teachers and staff ordered to walk away from student-led prayer.
  • Teachers told to remove Bible verses or religious sayings from computer screen savers, emails, and other locations.
  • A school Christian group allegedly abruptly prohibited access to bulletin boards that had before been open to them.

One pastor at the School Board meeting testified that school officials told teachers in his congregation that they had no religious rights during school hours.

Please give to help Liberty Institute as we defend the rights of employees of faith in Bulloch County Schools—and people of faith across America.

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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, in the military 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.