For over a decade, wrestlers from the Parkersville South (West Virginia) High School have chosen to wear shirts which bear the scriptural verse: "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." This motto was also emblazoned on the team's website.
After a complaint from the Wisconsin based Freedom from Religion Foundation, Wood County (WV) School Superintendent Pat Law, demanded that the team take the motto off their web presence, but for the time being the students can continue to voluntarily wear the shirts. It was prudent for the grapplers to take the verse off their website so that there is no question about the separation of church and state. But the privately funded tee shirts with the empowering message are another story altogether.
The school is concerned about agitation from aggressive atheist groups who want to wipe any expression of Christian faith from the public square, while balancing the rights of citizens.
Even though the Parkersburg South wrestlers had been voluntarily wearing these shirts (paid for by parent boosters), the school system rolled at the raising of one complaint. Presumably this was to avoid costly law suits. It is dubious if the Wood County will dare to bar other t-shirts which others might find "offensive".
The Freedom from Religion Foundation proclaim that it "works as an umbrella for those who are free from religion and are committed to the cherished principle of separation of state and church." Yet their news over the past three months only consists of Judeo-Christian agitation. No mention is made on the FFRF website about the many municipal accommodations which are made for Muslims. None of their current lawsuits tackle topics like the incorporation of Sharia law, New York schools taking days off for Muslim religions holidays, public foot washes etc. Their fight to enforce the separation of church and state could be given more credence if it took on those troubling topics instead of just being contrarians curmudgeons against Judeo-Christian traditions.
Even though the Parkersburg South wrestlers had been voluntarily wearing these shirts (paid for by parent boosters), the school system rolled at the raising of one complaint. Presumably this was to avoid costly law suits. This is like the politically correct insanity that beset Plymouth (Michigan) High School sports. Six years ago, the Plymouth High School Baseball boosters raised money to revamp baseball bleachers so that fans could better see the game. But this was only done for the mens' baseball fields and not the womens' softball bleachers. Thus the US Department of Education applied a literal reading of Title IX and ordered the dismantling of the better bleachers.
Aside from the outcomes of games, high school sports teach valuable lessons. The Parkersburg South Wrestling kerfluffle demonstrates that a lone dissenting voice can overcome an empowering message with the quisling support of a politically correct administrator. The Plymouth/Canton bleacher imbroglio exemplifies that a politically correct America will enforce equality at all costs and the PC government can override and rip out privately funded improvements to make its point.