Student’s Right to Say ‘God Bless America’ Prevails

Barb Wire

Yulee, FL – A week after Liberty Counsel told the principal of Yulee High School to respect the private speech of a public school student or see us in court, Nassau County School Board has upheld the first amendment rights of the student.

Last week at the end of reading the morning announcements, the Yulee High School student said, “God bless America.” When an atheist organization complained, the school reprimanded the student instead of giving the atheists a lesson on the First Amendment.

“The phrase ‘God bless America’ is woven deeply into American history, heard from the student in the classroom to the President of the United States,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “No reasonable person can say that the phrase is an ‘establishment of religion.’ By reprimanding and punishing the student for this statement, the school practiced viewpoint discrimination,” Staver pointed out.

The Nassau School District agreed. In a  press release on the matter, Superintendent John Ruis said, “Our hope is that the phrase ‘God Bless America’ will continue to ring in the halls of Congress, in our stadiums, in our arenas, in the halls of our schools and, most importantly, in the hearts of our children.”

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“We are thankful that the school board ruled on the side of free speech. Liberty Counsel will not stand idly by while atheists bully public school students,” Staver said.

Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

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