In North Carolina, a triggered parent’s complaint after she laid eyes on a children’s Christian-themed bulletin board in the cafeteria of her daughter’s elementary school will result in the board being taken down.
The Shelby Star posted photos of the display at East Elementary School in Kings Mountain, which had the saying “Keep Jesus at the Core” and various Bible verses displayed. School officials say they didn’t realize the material was still visible in the cafeteria, said Cleveland County Schools spokesman Greg Shull.
Shull said the display was put up by children during a meeting of an after school club called the Good News Club. “They created the bulletin board to create an atmosphere for the club, and they left it,” he said. The bulletin board advertised the day of the club meeting and what activities are done.
Stormy Mongiello, the parent who complained, took her child to East Elementary on Wednesday for a Girl Scout meeting and was confronted by the bulletin board.
“I was definitely taken aback by it because it was such a specific religious display,” she said.
Mongiello, who said she is a Christian and veteran, was upset by what she called a violation of the separation of church and state. As she looked at the board, she said, she thought about her friends who are of different religions.
“It is my choice to teach my daughter about the Bible, God and Jesus. It should not be displayed in a public place,” she said.
North Carolina state law does prohibit schools from encouraging one religion over another, but Shull said he believes that this was just an oversight.
Good News Club is part of the Child Evangelism Fellowship, and its purpose is to evangelize boys and girls with the gospel and establish them in the word of God and in a local church for Christian living. The club, which is run by someone from the community, is an after school program that parents sign their students up for, Shull said.
According to Shull, the school principal is in contact with the leader of the group and will be having the display removed from the school’s cafeteria.
Mongiello’s oldest son graduated from the school system several years ago and her daughter is now at Grover Elementary. She said she’s never seen a display like this before.
“I’m not being anti-Christian. This just does not belong in a tax payer paid facility,” she said.