As they have since Midlothian ISD first received a complaint from the Freedom From Religion Foundation about the overtly Christian plaques that adorn two of its elementary schools, community members at a school board meeting this week supported the plaques with a unified voice.
After hearing the speakers, board president Todd Hemphil, said that "the plaques are not covered and we do not plan to take further action to cover them up again," according to The Dallas Morning News reported.
Some might call that a pretty strong sign that Midlothian isn't going to take the plaques down unless someone, a judge perhaps, tells the district it must. The questions is, who's going to get a judge to do it?
For his part, the Freedom From Religion Foundation's lawyer sounds pretty optimistic that the plaques will be removed. Not long after his group complained about them a few weeks ago, it received a letter from the district's lawyer saying just that.
"As far as we know, the district's position has not changed since they sent us that original letter," said Sam Grover, the staff attorney for the foundation in the case. "Obviously, there's been a community outpouring on this issue, but the majority of the community's preference to have these plaques stay is not legally significant. The constitution is written to protect the underrepresented minority from the tyranny of the majority."
Grover said he expects MISD to put together a timeline for the plaques removal soon. The foundation hasn't made any plans about what to do if the district is just stringing it along. Not that anyone would think that.
If the district changes its mind, Grover says the foundation will its options. Were it to sue the district, the foundation would need a local attorney and a plaintiff within in the district. Grover says his group has received multiple complaints, but the people who made those complaints might be hesitant to out themselves. At least one, Grover says, is fearful he or she would lose his or her job.
As long as the plaques are eventually removed, Grover says the foundation is willing to overlook their being uncovered in the meantime.
And how long is the meantime? Well, we suppose the schools will fall down on their own, eventually.
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