Appeals court rules God banners must come down
SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The Poway Unified School District did not violate the First Amendment rights of a Westview High School calculus teacher when it ordered him to take down banners in his classroom that referred to God, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.
The unanimous decision by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals came in the case of Bradley Johnson and reversed a decision last year by a federal judge in San Diego.
U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez had concluded that the school district had infringed upon Johnson's rights and ordered it to allow him to put the banners back up.
Johnson had for years displayed large banners in his classroom in Rancho Penasquitos that read, “In God We Trust,” “One Nation Under God,” and “All Men Are Created Equal, They Are Endowed By Their Creator.”
The appeals court ruled that the school district has the right to limit speech of public employees in the workplace.