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Louisiana School Principal Under Fire for Citing Scripture in Newsletter: Hundreds Attend Support Rally

Written by Heather Clark

SHREVEPORT, La. – Hundreds attended a prayer rally on Friday in support of a Louisiana elementary and middle school principal who is under fire from the ACLU for quoting a Scripture in a recent newsletter sent to parents and posted on the district website.

Albert Hardison is the principal of Walnut Hill Elementary-Middle School, and has been at the school for many years. Recently, Hardison sent out a newsletter that cited and quoted from Philippians 4:13, asking that prayers be sent up for students to excel on their exams.

“As our students prepare to take the state mandated tests, LEAP, iLEAP and PARCC, please pray that our God will give them the strength and mental fortitude, the patience, the wisdom, and the energy to do their best,” it read. “Please help our children understand the meaning of Philippians 4:13 … I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

But an unidentified resident who does not have a child that attends Walnut Hill complained to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) about the matter. The organization in turn wrote an open letter on Tuesday to Caddo Schools Superintendent Dr. Lamar Goree, asserting that Hardison’s actions were unconstitutional.

“[Hardison] has engaged in a pattern of religious proselytization by sending messages to parents invoking prayer, and through a lengthy ‘Principal’s Message’ on the school’s website,” ACLU of Louisiana Executive Director Marjorie Esman wrote. “This unlawful religious coercion is improper from any school employee but it is particularly egregious coming from the school principal, whose job is to teach and uphold, rather than violate, the legal rights of all.”

Caddo Parish Public Schools soon announced that it was conducting an investigation and had removed Hardison’s comments while officials look into the complaint.

“In this instance, questionable materials subsequently have been removed from district webpages while the investigation continues,” a statement from the district explained. “If there is a violation, we will make certain we act swiftly to ensure we do not have any further violations.”

But parents and teachers soon rose up after hearing about the ACLU’s stance against Hardison. The Facebook page “Support Albert Hardison” was launched on Tuesday and quickly generated thousands of likes. As of press time, five days after its launch, the page has over 7,600 likes.

“Mr. Hardison at Walnut Hill Elementary/Middle School is being attacked by someone who has no affiliation with the school!” the page reads. “We as parents must come together.”

Parent Penny Cardino said that it is the students who approach Hardison and request prayer.

“They go up to Mr. Hardison, ‘I’m having a bad day. Would you pray with me, please?’” she explained.

Hardison

A rally was also organized for Friday at the Grawood Baptist Church in Keithville, an event which drew hundreds in support of the principal. Some held signs such as “#ourchildrenpray” and “Support Mr. Hardison.”

Jimmy Clark of Sycamore Life Ministries addressed the large crowd.

“Mr. Hardison loved everybody. There’s not a child that he didn’t touch. There’s not a child that he didn’t say ‘I love you.’ There’s not a parent that he didn’t say ‘I love you,’” he said.

Clark warned parents that there is a concerted effort to secularize schools.

“No matter what happens; no matter if anything happens ,” he said, “[T]he Word of God says every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess. There will come a day when those folks will stand in front of Jesus Christ and they will have to answer for everything they say.”

Hardison did not attend the event as he wanted the gathering to focus on Christ and not himself, but his son Kelvin and daughter-in-law Tera were among those who spoke.

“It took me by shock that someone would be so upset by someone praying for their children,” Tera Hardison said, according to the Shreveport Times.

“I am beyond touched,” Kelvin Hardison commented on the outpouring of support for his father. “Hopefully we accomplish something out here today and let everyone know that Jesus is alive and He is real. Thank you for supporting my father and my family.”

According to local television station KPTV, local businesses are also expressing their support for Hardison. Time-It Lube, with two locations in the Shreveport area, posted on both of its signs “Thanks Albert Hardison. May God bless you.” Summer Grove AutoCare also posted “God bless Mr. Hardison!” on its business sign.

Main Photo: Support Albert Hardison Facebook page

SOURCE: Christian News


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About the author: Greg is a strong believer in Jesus Christ and is also a political analyst and author.  By day he is a self-employed non-emergency medical transport driver, as well as being an author and blogger.  His articles are first published on True Conservative Pundit and Inspirational Christian Blogs, and from there the articles are widely published on many well-known conservative websites.  If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so leaving all links intact and crediting the author and the website that the article appeared on.  Greg is the author of the newly released book: Spiritual Darkness is Destroying America and the Church.  Subscribe to my daily newsletter, and join hundreds of daily readers and receive news and relevant commentary. Follow TCP on FacebookGab, Spreely, USA LifeTwitter, and Pinterest

2 comments

  1. Why does the resident who filed the complaint with the ACLU remain “unidentified”? Does he have a name and if he felt so violated by something that went on at a school that his children do NOT attend, why not identify yourself and tells us all why it impacted your life in such a negative way?

    I am telling you, Greg, Satan has his minions all over the place. The person who filed a grievance over a prayer that was said for students should know that he is nothing but a pawn for the enemy! Why should anyone be permitted to complain about a situation that has nothing to do with them or their children? Frustrating as this all is, it is just another sign of end times evilness.

    • No kidding, isn’t that something? That is like the Freedom From Religion Foundation in Wisconsin that sticks it’s nose into so many things all over the U.S. Ridiculous!

      Yes Satan is working overtime on bringing the hammer down on Believers. That bothers me a lot, but I have to remind myself that Satan ultimately has already lost the war.

      Praise God!!

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