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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

WV High School Told to Remove Bible Verse as Wrestling Team Motto

  • Carrie Dedrick
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2014 Apr 24
  • Comments

A West Virginia high school was told to remove a Bible verse used as the wrestling team motto.

Parkerburg South High School had been using Philippians 4:13 for inspiration (I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me), but received a complaint from the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF).

The scripture verse was painted above the doors to the wrestling room in the high school gym, as well as written on t-shirts and the team’s website.

Patrick Elliot, attorney for the FFRF said, “We needed to point out the obvious fact that this cannot be a team’s motto, that this is unconstitutional for a public school to endorse or advance religion.”

Bill Merriman is the lawyer representing the parents of one team member. He said, “The process is a person can wear and express themselves in any manner and the speech is protected as long as it isn’t a disruption to the educational process.”

Despite mixed views, the scripture verse above the doors was painted over and removed from the team website.

District superintendent Pat Law said, “We have to follow the law -- whatever that law might be. We’re going to be certain that everyone’s rights are being protected.”


Publication date: April 24, 2014