Broken Arrow School parents want school marquees changed

Saturday, September 22nd 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

"God Bless America", it's a phrase that's missing from signs in the Broken Arrow School district. With much of the country rallying against terrorism by invoking God's name, some Broken Arrow parents are wondering why their schools can't do the same.

News on Six reporter Heather Brooker says name after name can be found on a God Bless America sign outside Indian Springs Elementary. Parents say signing and displaying it are a show of support for their kids, and their country. The sign was put up after school officials removed the word God from a school marquee. Ken Harris, "I don’t' think they need to be complaining about god being on school signs when that's what everybody's going around saying. We need God more than ever now."

The district released a statement saying almost immediately after the phrase God Bless America appeared. "Many phone calls were received objecting to the placement of God on those school marquees." But parents we talked to say they want it back, and don't know of anyone who wants "God" removed. Steve Selberg, "personally with the tragedy that's going on I can't understand why anybody would call in and say gee whiz you need to take that off." Karen Woodard-Indian Springs parent, "maybe one or two people may have complained but the majority of us all feel this way. And we're happy that it's God Bless America."

Several surrounding school districts like Tulsa Public Schools have the phrase God Bless America on their signs. But Broken Arrow parents say for whatever reason it was taken off, and they want the word "God" back on their marquees." PTA President Theresa Waybright says she talked with board members who say it violated constitutional rights, and that's why they suggested it be removed. "Because of a very few complaints that had come in they felt it necessary because of what it states about separation of church and state that they needed to address this and get this off of our marquee's."

But whatever the reason for taking God off the signs, parents say they hope to give the district a sign of their own. We made several attempts to reach the Broken Arrow superintendent but as of our airtime, he had not returned our calls.