A West New York public school in New Jersey actively promoted belief in Islam and the religious practice of Ramadan with classroom indoctrination and posters, according to a religious liberty watchdog group.
The Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund fired back with a cease and desist demand Thursday to take the posters down.
They are also asking that proselytizing young Muslims be stopped from indoctrinating classes during school hours, according to a press release later in the day as the matter developed further.
Some teachers alerted FCDF about the indoctrinating classroom visits and school-sponsored posters at West New York District’s Memorial High School, and FCDF attorneys responded quickly.
“Memorial High’s endorsement of these posters violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment,” Daniel J. Piedra stated in the desist letter to school officials.
“For example, proclaiming ‘May Allah Continue to Shower You Love and Wisdom’ with ‘Warm Greetings from Memorial High school [sic]’ clearly sends an impermissible message.”
Piedra made a clear demand for school district Superintendent Clara Brito Herrera to take down the unconstitutional Ramadan posters immediately, so that they can confirm the action within two days.
Memorial High School Principal Scott Wohlrab also got the message to his firstname.lastname@example.org email account online.
“Regrettably, you should consider this letter a warning,” Piedra stated. “If you do not order Memorial High administrators to remove the posters immediately, then parents and students will have a legal cause of action against you and the West New York School District.”
In a press release on the day’s actions, FCDF leaders said that teachers observed how school administrators allowed Muslim students access to classes during school to, “interrupt teachers during the middle of lessons [and,] . . . indoctrinate students about Ramadan and Islamic beliefs.”
Separation of Church and state only applies to christiansDaniel J. Piedra, FCDF Executive Director
Piedra warned, “The First Amendment prohibits public school districts from endorsing a particular religion. West New York School District is blatantly violating the Constitution.
“These Ramadan posters and Islamic student presentations are sending a clear message to non-Muslim students that they are outsiders in the school community while sending a message to Muslims that they are insiders, the exalted student group,” Piedra added.
Piedra noted late Thursday that messages were received, the school administrators knew the legal situation regarding the posters, but they, “yet are deliberately keeping them up.”
He concluded, “A public school district would never hang posters praying for Jesus Christ to shower students with love and wisdom. Apparently, the Left’s notion of the so-called ‘separation of church and state’ only applies to Christians.”