Classroom Banner Fight Goes To US High Court

Bradley Johnson Says Consitutional Rights Violated After He Was Asked To Take Banners Down In Classroom

A local high school teacher whose banners posted in his classroom ignited a free speech debate is taking his fight to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Bradley Johnson, a math teacher at Westview High School, has postings of "In God We Trust" and "One Nation Under God" in his classroom. The banners are among several the Poway Unified School District had him remove five years ago.

Before the controversy began, Johnson said postings like these had been routine in his classes.

"I'm just saying what our national motto is. I'm not promoting any religion, there's no scriptures in there, there's no sacred text referred to. Those are just values we have as a nation; they transcend religious values and opinions," said Johnson.

In 2007, Johnson sued the Poway Unified School District, claiming his constitutional rights were violated. In September 2011, Johnson was ordered to remove the banners via a ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

On Tuesday, Johnson's attorneys announced they're taking his case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Several students had mixed reactions on whether the banners should stay or go.

Student Caitlyn Castro told 10News, "They're not really offensive to anyone."

"I think he should abide by the rules of taking that sort of thing down," said student Emma Stebbins.

According to U.S. Department of Education guidelines, public schools like Westview High School face losing federal funding if they are found to be unconstitutionally promoting religion.

Student Taylor Sibley said, "Then are we not going to say the Pledge of Allegiance because it says 'under God?'"

It has not been determined if the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the case.

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