Freedom From Religion atheists (Madison, Wisc) try to stop volunteer Bible course for teachers

(CHANNEL 3000) A planned training course for Fort Atkinson School District teachers and staff members is raising legal concerns because of its religious ties.

According to Superintendent Dr. Lynn Brown, a professional development day called “Wise and Well – A Staff Wellness Experience” offers 12 voluntary breakout sessions, including “Happiness Is – A Biblical Perspective on True Joy,” that will be presented by district teacher Dave Pazurek and Barrie Elementary Principal Brent Torrenga.

John Wedge, with the Wisconsin Education Association Council, said the session raised some red flags for him when he heard about it last week, and he cautioned the district to seek legal counsel before offering the session.

Ryan Jayne, a staff attorney with the nonprofit organization Freedom from Religion Foundation, said even though the course is optional and doesn’t involve students, it violates the Constitution by endorsing religion.

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