January 28, 2012
A San Diego-area high school math teacher ordered to take down classroom banners that referred to God has appealed his case to the U.S. Supreme Court, WORLD News Service reports. For 25 years, Bradley Johnson had banners hanging in his classroom with mottos such as "In God We Trust" and "God Bless America." School policy allowed teachers to display banners of personal belief, something other teachers also took advantage of by hanging up posters of the Dalai Lama, Malcolm X and Hindu sayings. However, in 2007, the school told Johnson his banners needed to be removed, while the other displays remained. A federal district court in 2008 upheld Johnson's First Amendment rights, but a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the decision last year, then turned down a request for an en banc hearing by the full court. The Supreme Court is a last resort, said Richard Thompson of the Thomas More Law Center, which is representing Johnson's case. "This case is a prime example of how public schools across our nation are cleansing our classrooms of our Christian heritage," Thompson said.