SHREVEPORT, La. – A northwest Louisiana congressman says “Atheist disputes groups” are trying to spy on Christian student groups at a school in their district.
The republican USA. Rep. Mike Johnson made the assertion on Tuesday in what he describes as his “campaign/personal Facebook page” — not on his Home official Facebook page, Home of the web page or in a press release.
Johnson claims that the private investigators tried to put the “hidden” videos of Christian activities at Benton High School and possible other Bossier Parish schools,” the Shreveport Times reported . However, he refused through a spokeswoman to answer questions about the allegations.
“For the protection of the confidentiality of its own citizens, the congressman will not comment on the accounts from the first hand passed to him about this matter,” spokeswoman Ainsley Holyfield told the newspaper.
A lawsuit is scheduled on 8 April in a federal lawsuit alleged that teachers and staff members in Bossier Parish schools promotion of Christianity, and that some people try to shame or force non-Christian students.
It was submitted by the Washington-based Americans United for the Separation of Church and State.
“We are absolutely not” private detectives hired to spy on Bossier Parish students, the group’s spokesman, Rob Boston, said Tuesday.
Lawyers met for a settlement conference Sept. 5. Two days later, on the district attorney ‘ s advice, the officials of the school ordered the removal of the Christ Fit Gym of the logo of the Benton High School football field. The Bossier Parish school board voted to restore the logo Sept. 11 and ended settlement talks.
Schools Inspector Scott Smith declined to comment on Johnson’s allegations.
Jon Guice, a lawyer representing the school district, said Tuesday that he had heard allegations similar to those of Johnson, but had no knowledge of such attempts and had not seen Johnson’s Facebook post.
Johnson wrote in the post that “these groups see the Bossier Parish School District as an ATM machine for attorney fee awards in what they believe that it will be easy Establishment Clause cases” — that is, the First Amendment, such as the prohibition on state religion.
“They are there, as in our district is following the law — even as we fight vigorously to defend religious freedom. Unfortunately, Bossier schools will have to endure this legal harassment of the atheist groups for a while now, so everyone should be prepared,” Johnson wrote.
Information from: The times, http://www.shreveporttimes.com