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Apparently, Church and State Are Still Not Separated: ACLU of Texas Reports

The ACLU of Texas filed a report today stating that many of our good state's public schools seemed to have forgotten that little document called the Constitution. The report states that the American Civil Liberties Union, an organization whose doctrine is to be the "nation's guardian of liberty," has received a barrage of phone calls from parents, students and educators across Texas complaining of breech of laws pertaining to religious freedoms in public schools.

Religious freedom is not a one-sided coin. On the one hand, the ACLU is finding that many schools are imposing sectarian Bible courses on students, which certainly violates that whole separation of church and state thing. Additionally, many schools are encouraging prayer in the classroom and holding school events at religious institutions. The ACLU also found a number of schools proudly displaying religious banners for all to see.

Instituting specific religions is just the half of it. The ACLU also notes that students who desire to express their own religions are being shunned, "such as American Indian boys with braids or students wearing rosaries." This right also comes under something called "Freedom of Speech," in case you haven't heard of it.

According to the report, many of these complainers have noted that they are scared to speak out in public because they are worried of being harassed or threatened.

Toni Teel, whose daughter Kynndal, objected to school-imposed religious practice in Kingwood schools, described the harassment to which her daughter and family were subjected: "I was told not to volunteer at the school anymore."

This report comes out almost 16 years after the famous Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe case, which found the Santa Fe Independent School District giving preferential treatment to specific religious sects and declared that schools were not allowed to endorse religion, no matter what kind it is.

Sixteen years later and we're still having the same issue?

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Abby Koenig
Contact: Abby Koenig