Bulloch County BOE hears complaints about religious expression - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Bulloch County BOE hears complaints about religious expression

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STATESBORO, GA (WTOC) -

Hundreds came to a school board meeting in Statesboro, because many were upset over the school system's guidelines for how teachers are allowed to express their faith.

Some want bible verses on their walls or to be able to pray with students.

School leaders say they're just following the law.

A packed house listened and often cheered as speakers accused the school system of censoring teachers' religious beliefs.

 "I feel it is my responsibility to voice my dissatisfaction with the county mandate of teachers removing scripture taglines from emails and religious items from classrooms," said teacher Jill Cook.

 "Freedom of religion was created to protect all religions and freedoms of expression," said parent Susan Sneathen. "It was not created to restrict it in any way."

The issue certainly brought passionate responses from several perspectives.

Superintendent Charles Wilson told the group state and federal law has set boundaries on religion expression.

"The board does support our employees rights, within the extent of the law," Wilson said. "It's important that we hear what the community's concerns are."

One parent supported the rules as a way to protect her child from other people's religion.

"I don't feel at all that this attacks my Christianity or my expression of my religion," said Julie Franklin.

A teacher's husband brought a petition asking the board to re examine the policy.

Others urged the board to take a stand and face any legal challenges that might come.

The board listened to nearly two dozen speakers tonight. They will respond at their meeting on Dec. 19.

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