Three Rivers ISD responds to controversial billboard

The Satanic Temple, which has spearheaded the Protect Children Project, has paid for advertising space on this billboard in Three Rivers. Those who live and work in the area first noticed the sign Oct. 25.

THREE RIVERS – The talk of the town this week is a billboard, which is located on the edge of Kopplin Park here and faces North Harborth Street (U.S. Highway 281).

The advertisement, paid for by The Satanic Temple and promoting its Protect Children Project, reads in all capital letters “Our religion doesn’t believe in hitting children.”

Lucien Greaves, a spokesman for the Salem, Massachusetts-based organization, told The Progress yesterday that the advertisement was purchased in response to the Three Rivers Independent School District’s (ISD) decision this summer to reinstitute corporal punishment as a means of disciplining its students.

Three Rivers Police Chief Vance Roberts said that City Hall and the police department began receiving calls about the billboard yesterday. However, he said that because no law or municipal ordinance is being violated, there is nothing his officers can do.

Three Rivers ISD Superintendent Mary Springs said today that the billboard has created a flood of calls from media outlets all over the country. In a statement issued by the district, officials said, “It has come to our attention that outside groups may try to force their beliefs on our community while attempting to orchestrate controversy and conversation regarding this policy. We believe that the majority of our community is very supportive of the school and our policies. We believe that the conversations that take place between our administrators and our parents regarding student behavior are the most important conversations regarding this topic. The district continues to focus on the greatest aspect of our work which is educating children and will not have any further comment on this policy.”

For more, read the Nov. 1 edition of The Progress.

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