Law Firm, Families Send Texas School Districts C&D Over ‘God’ Posters

from the tex-mess dept

This keeps getting better and better. We have been discussing a Texas law requiring that a school district display any posters that are donated by outside parties, so long as they follow a couple of defined rules. Those rules are that the posters can display no words beyond “In God We Trust”, that it must include an image of the American flag directly below the text, and that the Texas state flag must be displayed on the poster as well. These simplistic instructions were designed to keep anyone that wasn’t a religious conservative from screwing with school districts via creative means. That goal was not achieved, however, as some people began immediately screwing with them by donating posters following all those rules… but putting the required text in Arabic and/or including rainbow coloring in the letters.

Several school districts declined to put the posters up, seemingly in violation of the law. Those districts have typically said they already have posters that were donated, mostly by a private company called Patriot Mobile, a small wireless provider that also donates big money to conservative PACs. However, there is no provision in the law in which a school can claim to be “all full” on such posters.

Well, now this is about to get a whole lot messier. Parents have gotten the Kaplan Law Firm involved and are issuing C&Ds to four districts claiming that the Patriot Mobile posters actually don’t follow the rules and should be taken down.

The Kaplan Law Firm is issuing cease and desist letters to area districts that do not replace those signs with new ones that are being donated by parents, which feature rainbow lettering.

Below you can see a C&D from Kaplan pointing out all the ways the Patriot Mobile posters violate the plain letter of the Texas law.

In short, the Patriot Mobile posters display 31 partially visible stars and multiple state flags instead of one. While those items are minute in nature, they also represent a violation of the law, whereas the posters donated by parents absolutely do not. We’ll have to see how the school districts react, but I can’t think of a single argument against what Kaplan’s notice says here: the previous posters are in conflict with the law and should be replaced by the posters donated by parents, which are not in violation.

On the other hand, this whole thing is patently ridiculous and a giant waste of time and government resources, which is the whole point of the parents’ actions.

The main goal of the parents’ effort, Keller mom Laney Hawes said, was to “highlight the ridiculousness of the law.”

But the parents, in a joint statement, also emphasized their deep concerns over “hyperpartisan politicians and organizations who intend to turn our children’s classrooms into ground-zero for their political culture wars.”

Perhaps Texas’ legislature will choose to keep fighting this stupid fight rather than repeal its silly law. Perhaps some politicians even want that fight, thinking it will benefit them politically.

But what should be abundantly clear is that none of this benefits the citizens of Texas, nor the children who attend what are ostensibly secular public schools. The only thing that would achieve those goals would be the repeal of the law.

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Companies: kaplan law firm, patriot mobile

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Comments on “Law Firm, Families Send Texas School Districts C&D Over ‘God’ Posters”

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42 Comments
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That One Guy (profile) says:

'No fair, that stick was for US to beat YOU with!'

Ah the mess that could have been avoided if first-amendment hating christians and/or persecution-fetish politicians had just kept their religion out of the schools…

Should the schools fight this(and I imagine they will) they’re going to have a real fun time arguing both that the posters which violate the law have ‘dibs’ and should stay up even as the posters which comply with the law can’t be put up because there’s ‘no room’.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re:

Ah the mess that could have been avoided if first-amendment hating christians and/or persecution-fetish politicians had just kept their religion out of the schools…

They’ll never do that. They believe their beliefs deserve to govern everyone else’s lives instead of merely their own lives. Sadly, this is also why a federal judge ruled in favor of religious assholes in a case where an employer claimed that requiring coverage of an HIV drug was an infringement of their religious beliefs.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Well because it encourages teh gays to have teh secks and that leads to moar gays which offends our lord.

Mind you this is coming out of 1 man law office who has forum shopped a Judge who basically rubber stamps anything democrats hate.

I look forward to the first heterosexual people who end up suing because they were denied the drug, because its not just for teh gays… it prevents a disease than anyone who has secks can get. But then they were also okay with not making them get jabs to keep other people safe from dying so freedom of religion now covers death cults.

This comment has been deemed funny by the community.
That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2

Oh poor sweet Bergman, they don’t know how babies are made, where the G spot is, how to find the clitoris, that the female body can’t shut down real rape, that their all powerful sky freind could fix the gov if he existed, that privatizing the electric grid was a bad idea, what the 1st Amendment really says, and a long… long… long… list of other things.
One of them will pipe right up with something involving shooting a stork out of the sky to steal babies & make them gay… give them a minute.

Naughty Autie says:

Re: Re: Re:3

…they don’t know […] that the female body can’t shut down real rape…

You’ve made a mistake here. The fallacious belief isn’t that the female body can shut down real rape, it’s that it can shut down conception occurring during real rape. So if a trans man (for example) becomes pregnant through rape, then he must have secretly wanted the sex, according to Republicans and conservatives.

Naughty Autie says:

Re: Re: Re:

…it prevents a disease [that] anyone who has secks can get.

It also prevents a disease that some who come into contact with bodily fluids can get, such as recipients of contaminated blood products and healthcare workers who sustained needle stick injury before the mode of transmission of HIV was known. Let’s not forget about those people now able to be denied essential healthcare by their employers.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: 'My religious rights beat your right to life'

All animals/right are equal but some are more equal than others, and for a disturbing number of people one person’s ability to ‘exercise their religion’ in a manner of their choosing has greater priority than the literal lives of those around them that might be impacted by that.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

I enjoy how their deeply held beliefs can never ever be questioned, because that would be a burden on them and open a can of worms…

Like when Hobby Lobby was screaming that having to have insurance with contraception included violated their deeply held beliefs… up until you look at where they had invested the companies retirement fund into a corporation that makes contraceptives. We’re against it unless we can profit from it really isn’t a biblical thing I’ve ever heard of… but then the book does turn to ash in my hands.

Or the “pastors” of like 3 people “churches” who were recruiting new members by offering them letters to explain it was a biblical sin to get a shot to save others lives.

I did enjoy the CEO of one of the hospital systems, in CO IIRC, who published a list of all the medications that were just as bad as the vaccine according to several religious reasons & they had to certify they had never used any of them. Things like tums, tylenol, ibuprofen, ex-lax, preparation h…

Deeply held beliefs are things that you live every day, not just roll in for the Mass on Xmas Eve once a year.

Naughty Autie says:

Re: Re: Re:2

Deeply held beliefs are things that you live every day, not just roll in for the Mass on Xmas Eve once a year.

Absolutely. I do a lot of things the Bible says I shouldn’t, such as eat pork and shellfish (sometimes together as surf and turf) and wear cotton/synthetic blend clothing, and I’ve never read anywhere in it where vaccines are forbidden no matter how you construe it. So whenever I have to have this debate with a religious nut, I point out that if God had meant to die of vaccine-preventable diseases, he would have struck down Edward Jenner before he could invent mass public inoculation.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3

So whenever I have to have this debate with a religious nut, I point out that if God had meant to die of vaccine-preventable diseases, he would have struck down Edward Jenner before he could invent mass public inoculation.

You’re “debating” people who have already thrown logic out the window. It’s like fighting a cripple. It’s also basically the oldest argument in religion. Why did God create infant mortality, famine, Hitler? “He works in mysterious ways” or “everything is part of His plan” is the usual end of that conversation.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6

Something something he’s everywhere, sees everything, is all powerful yet just keeps watching the rapes happen and does nothing to stop them, doesn’t stop those who want to cover it up to protect the image of a religious body…

Given the continuing busts of religious folks for diddling kids, starting to think their skyfreind is really into watching CSAM.

(sociopath, already going to hell, try harder)

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
mechtheist (profile) says:

It’s obvious these mfers are thumbing their noses at the 1at Amendment and you know their all arrogantly gleeful how clever they’ve been getting one over on all the secularists. BUT, when other use their own contrived rules they’re so proud of to undermine their efforts, they resort to dishonest BS to openly violate THEIR law by refusing the posters that DO follow their law. It’s pathetic their agenda has to resort to dishonest tactics, but since their agenda is grossly dishonest to its core, it’s exactly what you would expect.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re:

When you see things like laws and rights not as things that everyone has to follow and have respectively but rather things that are there to benefit you and only you it becomes all to easy to just throw them aside the second they stop doing that, to treat them not like limits and protections but tools to be set aside, ignored or replaced the moment they stop doing what they are ‘supposed’ to do.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re:

They took a law that was meant to keep silly things like “No Jews in our Town” laws, and in the hands of the biggest victims in history has become a law that lets them claim skyfreind means never having to care about another human being.

Poor poor persecuted christians…
There is a war on christmas, they are attacked for their backward insane reality ignoring beliefs that they demand EVERYONE has to follow, they literally celebrated destroying the rights of women who don’t share their views but now are forced to adopt them…

I truly believe their biggest fear is they might end up being treated how they want us treated… and that says everything people need to know.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

There is just one little wrinkle in your argument.
Most of the schools/districts themselves have stated that they received (non compliant) posters under this law and that they were not going to put up the posters that did follow the rules (but did so in for example Farsi or Arabic) due to that.

Second paragraph of the article:

Several school districts declined to put the posters up, seemingly in violation of the law. Those districts have typically said they already have posters that were donated, mostly by a private company called Patriot Mobile, a small wireless provider that also donates big money to conservative PACs. However, there is no provision in the law in which a school can claim to be “all full” on such posters.

Christenson says:

Re: Re:

These compliant posters did not use arabic, just some fancy fonts, especially for the word god.

I have no idea where the legalities go from here, since the Texas education code makes no mention of what is supposed to happen to schools that don’t comply with this law, or the preceding one, which has schools flying flags on regular school days.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

the Texas education code makes no mention of what is supposed to happen to schools that don’t comply with this law

My assumption is that the schools would be legally compelled to replace non-compliant posters with compliant posters.

But hey, maybe pushing the boundaries of this shitty law will be what gets the law struck down. One can hope, anyway. 🙏

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Teka says:

As a little blue dot in texas, let me assure that there is no amount of tax payer money too great, no ridiculous law too obviously unconstitutional (on a state and federal level) to keep the governor et al from fighting to defend it in the most demonstrative and politicized and expensive way.

They will burn the state to the ground if it means ‘owning the libs’ in front of at least a single surviving red-hat wearing magacrat who will vote for them and insure GOP power in the state forever.

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