Updated at 2:18 p.m. – At a Thursday afternoon news conference, Midlothian’s superintendent Dr. Jerome Stewart said the plaques with religious references will not be removed and they will not be covered.
MIDLOTHIAN (CBSDFW.COM) – Parents descended on the Midlothian Independent School District on Thursday for a peaceful protest over a heated debate. It has to do with the separation of church and state on school grounds, specifically regarding some religious plaques placed at two of the district’s campuses.
The plaques can be found at Mt. Peak Elementary School and Longbranch Elementary School. They are not new — these plaques were built into the school’s structure 17 years ago — but school district officials have decided to remove them after a complaint was received in June.
The plaques read: “To the education of God’s children and to their faithful teachers in the name of the holy Christian church.”
A letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation said that someone living in the area found the plaques to be unconstitutional. An attorney recommended that the school district not fight the issue, because they would not win such a battle in court. So, the school district decided to have the plaques removed.
Prior to their removal, the plaques were covered up by the school district officials. But somebody recently uncovered the plaques. Parents within the district are upset, and want to keep the plaques in place at the two campuses. Some residents in Midlothian have even posted yard signs urging the district to “bring back the plaques.”
About 100 parents had a peaceful protest outside of the school district’s headquarters on Thursday morning. It was the third protest this week.
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