Outraged parents are suing a Florida school board saying a teacher made their third-grade children learn a religious-themed song recorded by country group Diamond Rio for an end-of-the-year program.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court last week — a month after students at the Webster School in St. Augustine started practicing "In God We Still Trust" — says the song interferes with the parents' right to raise children according to their own beliefs, The Florida Times-Union reported.
The song was cut before the lawsuit was filed when another parent complained. But the lawsuit says they are still entitled to damages because their children were required to learn the song.
They are seeking to bar the district from the "religious instruction" the song represents.
The song talks about God's place in American history and urges followers to go against attempts to create a secularized society.
Lyrics to the song include the lines:
"You place your hand on His Bible/When you swear to tell the truth/ His name is on our greatest monuments/And all our money, too/And when we pledge allegiance/There's no doubt where we stand/there's no separation/We're one nation under him."
St. Johns County School Board attorney David Marsey says the issue differs from school prayer because public school choirs historically have been permitted to sing religious songs.
“Simply, a public school ... does not endorse religion because its choir sings a Christian song,” Marsey told The Florida Times-Union.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.