FFRF "ends" First Amendment violations in Franklin County - WSMV Channel 4

FFRF "ends" First Amendment violations in Franklin County

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

The Freedom From Religion Foundation says the group has "ended" several First Amendment violations in Franklin (TN) County schools.

The Franklin County school board will vote on tonight on the FFRF's remaining complaint over the practice of opening North Lake Elementary PTO meetings with prayer.

Last month, FFRF Senior Staff Attorney Rebecca Markert sent a letter about a memo circulated last December to parents of children attending North Lake Elementary.

The memo said "Merry CHRISTmas" and mentioned that parents need to teach their children the "real reason for the season."

Additionally, the FFRF attorney noted that candy canes were distributed by one teacher with a story attached claiming the origin of candy canes is religious, with the candy's shape forming a "J" which was said to stand for "Jesus."

The teacher's story continued, saying "Thinking that the candy was somewhat plain the candymaker stained it with red stripes. He used three small stripes to show the stripes of the scourging Jesus received, by which we are all healed. The large red stripe was for the blood shed by Christ on the cross so that we can have the promise of eternal life."

FFRF says this has been debunked by internet rumor site snopes.com.

The group has asked the North Lake Elementary PTO to halt the practice of praying before PTO meetings, saying the practice is divisive.

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