A Kentucky school district was forced to remove signs displaying the Ten Commandments from its schools this week after receiving a complaint from the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), an organization that works to promote the constitutional principle of separation of church and state.
The FFRF’s letter claimed that by hanging the signs in several of their schools, including the high school, the Breathitt County School District was acting unconstitutionally and violating state law. The letter also alleged that the signs had been on display in the schools for years.
Officials from the Kentucky Board of Education also released a statement in response to the FFRF’s letter:
“The display of religious materials, such as a painting of a religious figure or a copy of the Ten Commandments, in a public school violates the U.S. Constitution’s prohibition on the establishment or endorsement of religion by a public agency. A school or district that displays copies of the Ten Commandments without the inclusion of other historical documents and not as part of a historical/comparative display is in violation of the U.S. Constitution. See the U.S. Supreme Court’s holding on this issue in Stone v. Graham, 449 U.S. 39, 101 S.Ct. 192 (1980). The Kentucky Department of Education’s focus in Breathitt County is on student achievement and college and career readiness and using its resources to support those efforts.”
Not everyone in this eastern Kentucky school district is happy by the school district’s decision to take down the signs, however.
“I am totally against it. I think that we need the Ten Commandments in the schools,” local resident Mary Lou Campbell told CBS affiliate WYMT. “I think all kids should learn it. It is everybody’s choice what they believe.”
“It makes me angry, because my grandchildren – I want them to have the traditional Christian upbringing,” she added.