The following letter was sent to the Polk County Superintendent of Schools Jacqueline Byrd, School Board spokesperson Jason Geary, and Channel 8 news reporter Melissa Marino
Dear Ms. Byrd, Mr. Geary, and Ms. Marino,
On the Channel 8 news this evening, March 7, 2017, there was a report about a school bus driver that told a child that because of his mothers relationship, he would not go to heaven. It was then reported that she gave him a pamphlet about her religion’s beliefs on the question. The child was left (not unexpectedly) unhappy and confused.
According to the news, Jason Geary stated that the bus driver had been instructed that she must follow the code of ethical conduct. Atheists of Florida (AOF) wants to congratulate Mr. Geary for addressing this situation for the serious issue that it is. The bus driver violated both the U.S. Constitution and the Florida Constitution, specifically the Establishment Clause, which is the Constitutional provision that prevents public entities like schools from incorporating religious dogma into administrative policy.
While I have not been able to locate the code of ethical conduct document on the Pasco school board web site, I am hoping that it includes the importance of following the constitution (AOF will be submitting a request for a copy of this document to ensure it does.)
We also want to thank Channel 8, Melissa Marino for sympathetically assisting the parents in getting this addressed.
We also requested a copy of the code of ethics to see if that covered this situation.
http://www.neola.com/polk-fl/ 4000 Support Staff>4210 Standards of Ethical Conduct
We consulted with our lawyer and with the ACLU about this case.