One typically thinks of mask requirements for school children and religious liberty amid a pandemic as two separate issues but one family recently found out that their local school might be discriminating against Christians in their policy on which masks, precisely, students are allowed to wear.
The Alliance Defending Freedom has filed a lawsuit on behalf of young Lydia Booth, who was told she was not allowed to wear a mask at school that read “Jesus loves me.”
School officials told Lydia, who is in the third grade, that masks with religious or political messages were not allowed at her Simpson County, Mississippi school, but her mother, Jennifer, was unable to find any such guidelines in the school handbook or dress code.
Meanwhile, she told the ADF, as reported by CBN, that masks with messages like “Black Lives Matter” were allowed.
The ADF told the school that they “can’t pick and choose which messages students are allowed to express and which they aren’t. And they certainly can’t single out religious speech for worse treatment than other types of speech.”
Young Lydia, for her part, never anticipated the mask would be an issue and that she’d only wanted to share her faith.
“It makes me feel like I’m protected by Jesus,” she told the ADF. When she opted to don it at school, she thought that her teachers and peers would “think it’s a great mask, and that Jesus is a great God, and a great Savior.”
Well, school officials may have taken issue with the young student’s message of faith on her face mask, but other students became inspired.
One of Lydia’s peers heard about the conflict and decided she wanted a “Jesus loves me” mask as well. An older sibling of one of Lydia’s friends, meanwhile, was inspired in response to set a goal to read the whole Bible.
Two sisters sent her sweet notes expressing their love, support, and mutual faith in Christ.
“It’s powerful for my kids to see other kids being a witness for Christ and even living through some persecution for it,” the mother of the two girls said.
Amen! Out of the mouths of babes.
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