July 6, 2011

ACLU’s Reign of Terror Comes to an End in Santa Rosa County School District


The ACLU reign of terror has come to an end in the Santa Rosa County School District (District) in the panhandle of Florida. After intense litigation brought by Liberty Counsel, and on the eve of trial later this month, the ACLU and the District agreed to modify a prior Consent Decree.

There are a dozen constitutional freedoms that Liberty Counsel won back for teachers, staff, students, and members of the community as a result of this settlement. Students will be allowed to voluntarily pray, submit religious answers in homework, and freely participate in private, after-school, religious programs. Teachers will now be able to pray at school during their break times, pray during school events in a nonofficial capacity, attend and fully participate in baccalaureate services, have a Bible on their desk, wear religious jewelry, assign readings from the Bible to students when relevant to nonreligious academic assignments, and more. "God bless" is no longer forbidden.

For three years the ACLU terrorized people with threats of contempt charges. Liberty Counsel had to defend Principal Frank Lay and Athletic Director Robert Freedman against criminal contempt charges, the penalty of which could have been a $5,000 fine, six months in jail, and loss of their collective 70 years of retirement benefits. The alleged “crime” was a short blessing over a meal. Liberty Counsel also had to defend Michelle Winkler, a staff worker, against civil contempt charges (up to $30,000 in fines) after her husband said a prayer in a neighboring county at a private event to honor noninstructional staff.

We are pleased that freedom has been restored to Santa Rosa County. From the beginning we contended that this Consent Decree went too far. We did not rest until we returned the constitutional rights stolen by the ACLU. Liberty Counsel is hosting a Victory Rally and Celebration tonight in Pace, FL, from 7-9 p.m. at Pace Assembly Ministries. For more information and free tickets visit www.LC.org.

Read our News Release for more details.

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