Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc. FFRF.org

FFRF’s Greater Sacramento Chapter — Impressive project puts schools on alert

Vol. 38 No. 09 November 2021
Mark Thew of FFRF’s Greater Sacramento Chapter looks over FFRF’s “Top 10 State/Church Public School Violations” brochures that the chapter sent to every school district in California. (Photo by Janet Thew)

FFRF’s Greater Sacramento Chapter recently finished a massive undertaking by sending FFRF’s “Top 10 Public School State/Church Violations” brochures, along with a firmly worded cover letter, to all the school districts in California.

The Schools Project, as the chapter calls it, required 18 volunteers to complete. 

“We already received our first response from a school district superintendent who got our cover letter and brochure,” said chapter President Judy Saint. “I took a deep breath as I prepared to defend the Constitution or perhaps evaluate any threats, but I was pleasantly amazed that it was a positive reply!” 

Here was the response:

“I just received a letter and a brochure from your local chapter president, Judy Saint. Once in a while, I have the privilege of receiving things like this that renew my hope in humanity. I am fortunate to work in two school districts where controversy around religious practice is pretty much nonexistent, but I have worked in places where that was not the case, where the religious tone felt oppressive. I will include the materials Ms. Saint sent as correspondence on an upcoming school board agenda. Thanks for your work!”

Saint said it took three managing volunteers and 15 volunteer addressors to get the cover letter and brochure to all of California’s 848 school districts. Every high school and unified district received the packet, as well as almost every elementary school district, with directions to share with their boards and schools. 

“According to FFRF attorneys, school complaints take a vast amount of their time, so we hopefully have warded off some issues to help keep their desks less encumbered,” Saint said. “These mailings to each superintendent and board of almost all the school districts in California put them on notice. If our attorneys contact them in the future, the districts cannot say they were not warned. It gives our attorneys a leg up in their discussions. Almost every school superintendent and school board in the entire state of California now know we are here, we know the law, and we are watching!”