Responding to legal advice from its attorneys, after complaints from an outraged parent, Lincoln-Franklin Elementary School in Garwood, New Jersey, retracted their decision to censor the word ‘God’ from a fifth grader’s Thanksgiving poem before displaying it in the school’s hallway.
"Pilgrims thank God for what they were given Everybody say . . . happy Thanksgiving!" read the poem, which had initially been deemed to offensive to place on display in its original form.
"This is exactly the kind of religious discrimination- based upon misinterpretations and misapplications of the First Amendment's Establishment Clause-that runs rampant in our nation's schools," said Jared N. Leland, Media and Legal Counsel for The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. "Had the poem read 'Pilgrims thank turkeys for what they were given', the school would have displayed the poem without alteration, " he said.
"The freedom of private religious expression must be preserved. It's unconstitutional for the government to censor what one's thankful for, whether it's God, family, or the feast," Leland said.