Broken Arrow school board decides marquee issue

Tuesday, September 25th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Broken Arrow's school board hopes a resolution it passed Tuesday ends a controversy over the phrase "God Bless America" on school marquees.

Some citizens complained that the phrase violated constitutional separation of church and state. The district sent out guidelines that prompted some schools to remove the word "God" from their marquees. That sparked an even bigger round of protests.

Superintendent Dennis Shoemaker says the controversy resulted from confusion and misunderstanding. "The church-state issues that are out there constantly were sent out to all principles for clarification, but not with any directives. I received zero calls whether this was appropriate. These were decisions that were made at the school."

The district says use of the word "God" on a public school marquee is legal if it's part of a temporary patriotic display.

Broken Arrow Schools and the Chamber of Commerce will co-sponsor a city-wide patriotic rally this Sunday.