- The Washington Times - Friday, February 20, 2015

A school in West Virginia that put up a memorial for a much-loved teacher who died in a car wreck in 2004 told atheists OK, the Christian crosses can go — but the angel statue is staying, despite your threat to sue.

Joann Christy had a 26-year teaching history at Ravenswood Middle School when she died, and the school and community wanted to memorialize her with an engraved stone near the facility’s entryway, Fox News reported.

“We’re just trying to keep her memory alive here,” Tracy Sadecky, a friend of the family, told WSAZ.com.

But now the Freedom From Religion Foundation, headquartered in Wisconsin, has demanded the memorial’s removal, saying it violates the First Amendment because of the Christian crosses that were planted in nearby grounds.

Christy’s family removed the crosses, but left in place several angel figurines. But that may not be good enough for the atheists’ organization. An attorney representing the group said the angels could stay so long as they represent Christy’s love for angels and not a religion, Fox News reported.

The school is set to discuss the fate of the memorial at an upcoming meeting, but many in the community are reeling from the threat of suit.

Charles Hicks, the pastor at the church that Christy used to attend, said it’s hard to separate the faith from the person.

“[The memorial] is a remembrance of who Joann Christy was,” he said, Fox News reported. “And it is hard to separate the good that she did and her devotion to her Christian faith.”

The local media station, meanwhile, pointed out that the FFRF didn’t criticize the school’s mascot — a red devil.


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