It's foolish for a public school in Virginia to "panic" over a Bible verse placed on campus, which is not illegal, says a conservative activist.
The family of late teenager Colton Osborne is reportedly trying to reach a resolution with the Charlotte County School Board after a memorial bench was placed near the ball field.
Osborne enjoyed baseball and the bench was dedicated in his memory at Randolph Henry High after he passed away in 2016.
But there is a problem, at least according to the school board and Superintendent Nancy Leonard: the bench includes a Bible verse.
"We found that the memorial bench is not legally compliant because of the Establishment clause because of the Bible verse," Leonard told a TV news station.
"We either have to remove the bench," she said, "or we have to cover the scripture or change that verse to something else that may represent the child."
Victoria Cobb of the Virginia-based Family Foundation says the bench controversy stems from an environment in which public schools have become "risk averse" about the issue of religious expression and the U.S. Constitution.
"It's really tragic," says Cobb, "that we now have schools constantly in a panic that there is a possibility that God's Word might exist somewhere on their campus."
Attorneys for atheist groups routinely sue over the claim that permitting religious faith on public property violates the Establishment clause, and law firms that fight for religious expression often voice frustration that city councils and other public boards melt under the threat of a lawsuit.
Leonard told the TV news station no complaints had been made but said the law requires the Bible verse to be removed.
Reached by OneNewsNow this week, Colton's mother Teresa says the bench, so far, has not been altered.
"We are working on getting it settled peacefully," she says.