Students at Benton High School were told to cover up the word "Christ" on the football field after the ACLU objected to the business name of Christ Fit Gym having a logo on the field.

Courtesy of Ryan Gatti
Courtesy of Ryan Gatti

KEEL News has learned the Benton Football Booster Club recently sold advertising space on the Benton High School football field to a local business.   The logo of the business included a Cross and Bible verse and was painted on the football field.  Attorneys for the school board released this statement:

A challenge to the logo was received from counsel for the plaintiffs in a pending federal lawsuit alleging improper endorsement of religion in the schools.  The School Board's legal counsel advised the administration that the logo should be removed pending consultation with the Court, as alleged violations had just been discussed with the Court.  The Bossier Parish School Board was unaware of the logo and has not met to discuss the issue.   We understand that a lawsuit has been filed in  state court challenging the removal of the logo and that a temporary restraining order has been signed against the Benton Football Booster Club.  The Board is not a named as a defendant in the suit and has not had an opportunity to discuss the allegations.

But the owner of Christ Fit Gym in Bossier City filed a restraining order. Billy Weatherall tells KSLA  “If I stand down, where does it stop,"

The logo was placed in the field’s end-zone for the 2018-2019 football season. According to the temporary injunction, the gym paid $3,500 to have it on the field.

Ryan Gatti represents the gym and he tells KEEL News “It’s a battle over the mind of a child. We have to draw the line somewhere."

A field crew member, Jonathan McPherson posted this on Facebook:

Today on field crew, I was asked to paint over the Christ Fit advertisement on the football field. You have to stand up for Christ no matter what and we told the coaches we wouldn't do it. We ended up leaving the field and not helping them cover up the scripture that was put on the field. No matter what people say, you have to stand up for Christ even if it can get you in trouble.

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