Yesterday, FFRF attorney Ryan Jayne responded to him, and it’s clear he’s not yet ready to concede. Jayne explained that what Gardin says contradicts their complainants, and FFRF wants more information.
Principal Stoner told one parent, “Elevate is led by the two youth pastors at Heartland Christian Church. They use a Christian curriculum to teach leadership qualities and principals [sic] to the students. This is in no way a requirement”…
Another District employee, Leana Palmer, told a parent that “‘Elevate’ is a faith-based character and leadership program that is taught during lunch on Wednesdays as an elective and is open to our middle and high school students.”
… one of our complainants informed us that their child has been encouraged by other students to attend the “bible class” during lunch period, and that if they do attend the “can win a gift card.”
There are employees in the District, as well as students, who seem convinced this is a religious program. What do they know that Gardin doesn’t? To that end, FFRF made an open records request for all communications with those District officials, as well as any communications that reference the pastors or their church. Those records will shed more light on the facts.
Either way, both sides agree that religious programs have no place in a public school, so if that’s what’s really going on here, “Elevate” will come to an end.
Read more at [patheos.com]