School statue creates controversy in Madison County

DANIELSVILLE, Ga. (WXIA) -- When the Madison County Red Raiders football team walks out of the doors of the new fieldhouse, they've made it a habit to touch the new stone statue next to the field.

It is what is on that statue that has caused two non-profit groups to demand the monument be removed.

Next to phrase "Home of the Red Raiders" are two quotes from the Bible-- Romans 8:31: "If God be for us who can be against us?" and Philippians 4:13: "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me"

In two separate letters to the school district, the Freedom From Religious Foundation and the American Humanist Association call the statue "unconstitutional" saying it violates the separation of church and state.

The second group is demanding the county "remove the monument immediately" or at the very least "remove the religious references" and in the meantime cover up the statue.

At the same time, there are a number of parents who don't want the monument to go anywhere.

Derrick Brown said the monument was a gift from a donor.

"If it is private funds that paid for it and they wanted to donate it to the school I think it should stay right where it is," said Brown.

Morris Stevens has two kids on the football team and says the young men now routinely touch the statue as they make their way onto the field.

"They think it gives them good luck. I say we live in a free nation and let's exercise our freedoms and beliefs," said Stevens.

Schools Superintendent Allen McCannon said the board and its attorneys are "investigating options available to it regarding the monument including, but not limited to, removal of the monument or modifying the monument in some manner."

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