Beginning last week, an atheist student in Oklahoma has been dealing with some negative feedback as a result of his contacting the Freedom From Religion Foundation about the Ten Commandments being displayed in the classrooms of his high school.
His complaint and contact of the FFRF has resulted in the Muldrow, Oklahoma Public Schools decision to remove the Decalogue plaques that have been in almost every classroom since many could remember.
Local reporters interviewed some of the students regarding the decision, and one senior named Blakely Palafox offered these comments,
“The commandments have been there ever since I can remember, ever since elementary school. I think it’s actually kind of stupid to take away something so important to our school. Those Ten Commandments have been there forever.”
The deciding factor was a letter sent by the Freedom From Religion Foundation to Ron Flanagan, the Superintendent. In that letter was a warning that the plaques represented ' flagrant violation of the Establishment Clause of [the] First Amendment.'
The school decided that in order to avoid what could be a very costly lawsuit, it would just remove the plaques. That advice came from Jerry Richardson, the attorney for the school, who advised fighting it would be pointless, as they would surely lose the case.
The plaques have been up for about two decades.
Annie Laurie Gaylor, the Co-President of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, stated,
"We are pleased the school administration has removed the Ten Commandments, in compliance with the Constitution. This is settled law. Public schools cannot advance or endorse religion. We hope the Board will ‘Honor thy constitution,’ and heed the advice of its attorney rather than to acquiesce to pressure from a religious mob."
Click here for a PDF copy of the FFRF letter.