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Peoria Unified School District board member again quotes Bible despite lawsuit threat

By Matthew Casey
Published: Friday, June 23, 2023 - 6:27pm
Updated: Friday, June 23, 2023 - 6:56pm

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Peoria Unified School District
Peoria Unified School District
Peoria Unified School District office.

A lawsuit has been threatened if governing board members for the Peoria Unified School District keep quoting Bible verses during public meetings.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation said it has received no reply yet to a letter warning board members that continuing the practice could prove costly.

Peoria’s governing board held a regular meeting on Thursday night, and member Heather Rooks quoted the Bible.

“Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm for God can be trusted to keep his promise,” said Rooks.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation wrote in a late May letter to the governing board that Rooks has openly embraced Christian nationalism.

“As long as this board member continues to use their position to push religion, that's a liability for the board and for the district," said Chris Line, the foundation's staff attorney.

The Peoria governing board’s lawyer has advised members against quoting scripture during public meetings.

As of Friday afternoon, Rooks had not replied to a voicemail left at her district number.

“She is a school board member representing our government. And our government should never take sides on religion, or try to put one religion above others, or try to say religious people are better than nonreligious people,” said Line.

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