Can a teacher put John 3:16 in email signature? District says no; her lawyers say yes

by | Apr 10, 2023 | Religion

(RNS) — Attorneys for a Virginia high school teacher are challenging school officials for requiring the teacher to remove a Bible verse from the signature of her work email messages.Until the recent directive, the teacher had for years, since the time she was hired by the district, included John 3:16 — “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” — with her signature.
In their request made last month, lawyers with the Christian legal group Liberty Counsel said the Loudoun County Public Schools directive amounts to religious and viewpoint discrimination. They said her colleagues are permitted to include other kinds of private expression from secular viewpoints in email messages, including the use of preferred pronouns.
“The District does not prohibit all personal expression by teachers in their email signature blocks; but only religious expression, because it says the Establishment Clause precludes the school district ‘from any communication that could be perceived as the school division’s official endorsement of any particular religion,’” the lawyers said in a le …

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