HS Teacher Told To Remove 'God' Banners By Federal Court
School District Says Banners Can Stay Until Legal Process Is Over
1:41 AM, Sep 14, 2011
A North County teacher has been told by a federal appeals court to remove banners from his classroom that they feel are religious in nature.Brad Johnson teaches AP calculus at Westview High School and is not surprised by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling ordering him to remove his banners because he said political correctness rules the day.A teacher since 1977, Johnson's first banner went up five years later.It reads "In God We Trust", a phrase on U.S. currency and "One Nation Under God".Nobody thought there was anything wrong with them. Administrators, superintendents, school board people who had been in my room, Johnson said.Over the years more banners went up.It wasn't until 2007, nearly 30 years after his first banner went up, that a fellow teacher brought it to the principal's attention.Johnson was told the posters had to come down.He sued the Poway school district for violating his constitutional rights and it's been in the courts ever since.Last year a district judge ruled in his favor saying the banners could stay. But Tuesday he learned that decision was overturned by a federal court.Johnson doesn't know how much his legal fees add up to because he's represented by the Thomas Moore Law Center. They're the conservative version of the ACLU. They're covering the legal costs completely for me, he said.The math teacher said he will appeal the new ruling and is willing to fight all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court, even if he has to pay for it himself. I think I'd take a second mortgage, sell my house, I would do it, Johnson said.The school district's attorney told 10News administrators won't ask Johnson to take his banners down until the entire legal process is over. And there's no telling when that will be.