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.