The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana has launched a full-scale assault on Airline High School after the principal wrote the words, "May God Bless You All" in a message posted on the school's website.
"The Future Starts Today – May God Bless You All," wrote Principal Jason Rowland in September.
The ACLU also complained about plans by the school's Fellowship of Christian Athletes to place prayer request boxes around the campus.
That was all the evidence the ACLU needed to accuse Bossier Parish Schools of engaging "in a pattern of religious proselytization."
"There is no question that the principal has violated these legal mandates by invoking God, prayer and Christianity in school publications and on school grounds," Esman wrote. "This unlawful religious coercion is improper from any school employee but it is particularly egregious coming from the school principal, whose job is to teach and uphold, rather than violate, the legal rights of all."
They allege the principal broke the law with his online message. And they allege the students broke the law by placing "prayer boxes" around the campus.
"Immediately remove all references to prayer from the website of Airline and any other schools in the Bossier Parish school district," wrote Marjorie Esman, the executive director of the ACLU in Louisiana. "Immediately remove the 'prayer boxes' and any similar devices at Airline and another other schools in the Bossier Parish school district."
On Thursday night the school board issued a statement telling the ACLU they don't plan on losing their religion. They determined nothing improper happened at the high school.
"The Bossier Parish School Board is committed to honoring the state and federal law as it relates to the rights of all students, regardless of their religious beliefs," read a statement provided to the Shreveport Times.
"The Board and its administration welcome meaningful discussion of this and any issue but will base their decision on the law and facts as they know them to exist. Decisions in the best interest of our students can never result from threats and intimidation."
The school board also issued a resolution which said U.S. history is built on "freedom of religion, not freedom from religion," the newspaper reported.
Supporters blasted the ACLU's attempt to bully the principal and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
"It is a campaign of fear, intimidation and misinformation," State Rep. Mike Johnson told me. "This is standard practice for the ACLU. What they hope will happen is they make these radical demands and the school board will bow to the pressure."
Johnson, who is also the chief counsel for the law firm Freedom Guard, said the ACLU has picked the wrong community to attack.
"This is a very conservative area," he said. "The ACLU picked the wrong sleeping giant this time."
Thousands of local citizens have mobilized in defense of the school district and a rally has been scheduled for this coming weekend.
"It's really hit a nerve," Johnson said. "People have had enough."
He accused the ACLU of "trolling" – looking for a school district to attack.
"They've never even been to this school," he said. "They literally are trolling the Internet looking for things to be offended by. They are on a search and destroy mission for all things Christian."
Among those defending the principal is John Fream, the pastor of Cypress Baptist Church. Principal Rowland is a member of the church and teaches Sunday School.
"We all have rights—even Christians," Pastor Fream told me. "We want our kids to know they have rights. Our kids can pray in school. They can put out prayer boxes."
Pastor Fream said it's time for the community to stand together and send a message to the ACLU.
"We don't hate the ACLU," he said. "We are just for our Christian beliefs."
It's about time that someone stands up to these bullies—and I can't think of a better place than Bossier Parish.
The ACLU has a predilection for attacking Christians that borders on the bizarre. Maybe they should consider a name change to reflect their disdain for people of faith.
How about the Anti-Christian Liberals Union?
Todd Starnes is host of "Fox News & Commentary," heard on hundreds of radio stations. Sign up for his American Dispatch newsletter, be sure to join his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter. His latest book is The Deplorables' Guide to Making America Great Again.
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