Complaint brings Bible quotes down from Searcy High choral room | Arkansas Blog

Monday, February 12, 2018

Complaint brings Bible quotes down from Searcy High choral room

Posted By on Mon, Feb 12, 2018 at 12:29 PM

REMOVED: Sign that once adorned Searcy choral room.
  • REMOVED: Sign that once adorned Searcy choral room.

The Freedom from Religion Foundation says Searcy High School has taken down Bible and religious quotes from a choral room in response to their complaint.

The Foundation, a nonprofit based in Wisconsin, acted in response to a complaint last fall from someone at the school, who supplied photos.

Last fall, it was brought to FFRF’s attention that Searcy High School’s choral director [Tina Niederbrach] had placed several Christian-themed posters on the walls of the high school chorus room. Most contained bible verses, including: Ephesians 5:19 (“Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord”); Colossians 3:14 (“Love binds us together in perfect harmony”); and Psalms 42:1 (“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God”). Another poster displayed lyrics from the gospel song “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” (“Precious Lord take my hand, lead me on, let me stand”).
The Foundation wrote Searcy School Superintendent Diane Barrett in November to warn that "public schools may not advance, prefer or promote religion." The display, wrote Colin E. McNamara, a lawyer for the foundation, "violates this basic constitutional prohibition by creating the appearance that the district prefers religion over nonreligion, and Christianity over all other faiths.” The Foundation wrote a followup letter Jan. 25. Barrett response Feb. 2. Her letter said in full:

"In response to your letter dated January 25, 2018, the teacher removed the posters fro her room in November 2017, and staff were addressed as to religious displays."

The Foundation praised the response. From its release:

“A music room should not be a place of discord,” says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “We’re pleased that the school has taken action to ensure that student chorus members of minority faiths and no religion feel equally welcome.”

Tags: , , ,


Comments (11)

Showing 1-11 of 11

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-11 of 11

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Kane Webb leaving Parks and Tourism for Walmart

    Kane Webb is departing as director of the state Parks and Tourism Department to take a job as director of executive communications at Walmart headquarters in Bentonville. Cynthia Dunlap will be the agency's interim director.
    • Dec 12, 2018
  • Wednesday: Headlines and the open line

    The video news roundup and the open line.
    • Dec 12, 2018
  • Michael Cohen gets three years

    Michael Cohen, Donald Trump's former lawyer, was sentenced to three years in federal prison today for a variety of crimes, including accusations related to paying hush money to Trump mistresses to keep their stories out of circulation during the 2016 election campaign. Can't wait for the Trump tweet storm.
    • Dec 12, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…


  • Arkansas vs Ole Miss at War Memorial stadium in Little Rock, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. After leading for much of the game, Arkansas lost 37-33 when Ole Miss scored the game winning Touchdown with less that 2 minutes left. 
  • Margaret Clark Adventure Park
    New sculptures, preschoolers play area dedicated in Riverfront Park in Little Rock.

Most Recent Comments


© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation