A northern Michigan school district has removed the requirement that its next superintendent have “a strong Christian background and philosophy” after the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) complained, ABC News is reporting.
The requirement for a Christian philosophy and background was removed from the job posting the very same day the district received the ACLU’s letter.
The McBain Rural Agricultural School District is in the market for a new superintendent, according to MLive. To find the right person for the job, the district is consulting with Scott Crosby of the Michigan Leadership Institute.
Crosby wanted the potential applicant to have a mindset that’s compatible with the rural area’s tight-knit, conservative values, and chose the words “Christian background and philosophy” to describe that trait.
The ACLU was not pleased.
“Our Constitution wisely requires public schools to remain neutral in matters of religion. When a school favors one religion over another, or religion over non-religion, students and teachers who do not subscribe to the favored religion are made to feel like they do not belong.”
Crosby admits that specifically calling for a “Christian philosophy” in the potential candidates was “poor judgment.”
“There are other ways to reflect that. Clearly, it was not intended to discriminate in any way, shape or form.”
The ACLU letter also took the school board to task for failing to notice the “Christian philosophy” requirement in the job posting.
“Even if it was a mistake, however, we are distressed by how many administrators and staff must have read the job announcement without thinking it was wrong or demanding that it be changed.”
Crosby wrote back to the ACLU, apologizing profusely for his mistake.
“As the person responsible for this posting, I apologize to your organization and to any individual who feels that our language was discriminatory in any way. There was no mention of preference, favoritism, or this being a requirement in reviewing this document.”
Some groups, including the ACLU and the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), have been rather zealous – some might say, too zealous – in pressuring public schools to completely separate themselves from the appearance of promoting religion. Last month, for example, the FFRF threatened to sue a West Virginia public school for hosting a memorial to a beloved teacher who had died because the memorial contained crosses and angels, according to this Inquisitr report.
Do you believe the McBain School District was in the wrong to ask for a candidate with a Christian philosophy? Share your thoughts in the Comments below.
[Image courtesy of: Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty]