Bulloch Co. Citizens Petition For Religious Liberties - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Bulloch Co. Citizens Petition For Religious Liberties For School Employees

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Religion in schools, specifically the rights of Bulloch County school employees is being debated. The Bulloch County Citizens for Religious Liberties Group is petitioning the Board of Education to review the guidelines teachers must follow.

The request comes after the school district received a complaint about a school employee participating in a student led prayer at a sporting event, which is not allowed. That incident triggered the superintendent to remind employees about the religious guidelines, which haven't changed, but now are causing some concern.

The reminder sent out to Bulloch County school employees about religious expression guidelines didn't sit well with Jon Cook. Cook is a minister, and he's also married to a teacher in the district.

"Some of those restrictions include removing any scripture reference from the classroom, removing the scripture reference from their signature line of their email, and removing themselves from the presence of student led prayer, and this caused a lot of concern among teachers because it seemed to be an infringement on rights," said Cook.

The Bulloch County school district said these policies aren't new and are based on the United States Constitution and state and federal laws.

Superintendent, Charles Wilson, issued this statement: "The Bulloch County Board of Education and Superintendent support the employees of this school system and their rights to express their beliefs and concerns. We also support community-based efforts to seek appropriate remedy to infringement, real or perceived, upon freedom of religious expression with the proper authorities. While we stand in support, we are bound to carry out our official duties."

Superintendent Wilson declined to make any further comment or answer any questions about the issue.

Cook said he understands there's a fine line teachers have to walk to make sure not to influence students on religious beliefs but employees have rights too.

"We want to makes sure that our teachers' rights to privately express their faith is held and protected," said Cook.

The Bulloch County Citizens for Religious Liberties is expected to bring their petition in front of the board of education on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the William James Education Complex in Statesboro.

If you would like to view the petition click here: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/petition-to-bulloch-county-board-of-education

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