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World News

Bible verse removed at US high school after complaint from atheist group

by Heather Preston

A school district in the state of Kentucky has removed a number of religious displays including a bible verse from one of its buildings following complaints from an atheist group that they were "unconstitutional".

A local Whitesburg resident contacted Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) with concerns about Letcher Central High School in 2019 after she saw the words of Jeremiah 20:11 printed on the wall of its locker room.

FFRF sent a letter of complaint to the Letcher County Public Schools district, calling for the content to be removed, arguing that it "violates the District's constitution when it allows its schools to display religious symbols or messages."

The verse which reads "But the Lord is with me like a Mighty Warrior," has now been painted over. 

It was the third complaint made by the atheist group regarding religious messaging in the district.

In October 2019 it reported a notice board display at Fleming Neon Middle School which read "Jesus is my Saviour. You can't scare me!" and a religious message posted on an official district Facebook page.

The organisation highlighted in its second letter to the district that public schools are not allowed to advance, prefer or promote religion and that it is the district's constitutional obligation to remain neutral on religion. 

Addressing Superintendent Denise Yonts, the group requested the immediate removal of all religious displays from the district.

In response, Letcher Public Schools district has replaced the notice board at Fleming Neon Middle School, removed the Facebook post and repainted the Letcher Central High School locker room.

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