An Indiana school district secretary was forced to remove a Bible citation from her email signature after a Wisconsin-based atheist legal group sent a complaint letter demanding its removal.
Sarah Mullins, an executive secretary in the Fayette County School Corporation, was recently instructed to remove a reference to Hebrews 6:19 from her official school email signature.
The order comes after Superintendent Scott Collins received a letter last Wednesday from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, which advocates for strict separation of church and state and has over 400 members in Indiana, claiming that Mullins was in violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The letter was sent after a local resident contacted FFRF about how Mullins’ school email signature included the words “Hope anchors the soul. Hebrews 6:19.” The letter asked the school district to have Mullins remove the religious reference from her email signature.
FFRF letters are typically followed by warnings that a lawsuit will follow if their demands are not met.
It didn’t take long for Collins to respond. According to a news release published Friday, Collins emailed last Thursday to explain that the issue had been resolved.
“Thank you for the notification about this report related to one of our school secretary’s email signature,” Collins wrote. “I contacted her direct supervisor, the school principal last evening [Sept. 20] and notified her about this and the need to have it removed. The principal notified me this morning that she met with and discussed this scripture quote and reference in her email signature and that the secretary, Sarah Mullins, has removed it from her email signature effective today [Sept. 21].”
The original FFRF letter, which was sent to Collins by attorney Ryan Jayne, argues that Mullins’ inclusion of the Bible verse in her official school email signature was an endorsement of religion that could be “attributable to her employer.”
SOURCE: Samuel Smith