Rusk ISD administrators recently asked a teacher to remove a religious poster from their classroom after a student took offense and then sent a picture of that poster to the Freedom from Religion Foundation.
Now a Rusk High School senior and his t-shirt are taking a stand for his beliefs.
A poster with scripture scrolled into a cross that once hung in a Rusk High School classroom now it hangs in senior Cameron Franks home reminding him of his mission to take a stand for Jesus.
"We've walked our halls for 4 years and we've been persecuted and called hypocrites and everybody that's a Christian, I'm sure they've had that time in their life when they've been persecuted and I knew it was time to take a stand," said Franks.
Rusk ISD superintendent Scott Davis said the poster was brought to his attention after he received a letter from the Freedom from Religion Foundation.
Davis said his hands were tied in the matter because "a teacher acting in that manner is in violation of the establishment clause" in the first amendment but he says he appreciates the positive way Cameron is dealing with someone he disagreed with.
"All the posters and symbols and scriptures were removed from every classroom and I sort of didn't really understand what was happening," said Franks.
So he decided he would take matters into his own hands, design a t-shirt and practice his own first amendment rights.
"I didn't think this was such a good idea at first but then I was like you know what I don't care anymore," said Franks. "I'm tired of it. I'm tired of hiding in the corner and so I was like I'm going to do it and I'm going to see how the reactions are and if they're negative so-be it and if they're positive so-be it."
And his red t-shirts have quickly gained community, church and business support across the Rusk area and across the country with more than 2,000 orders already placed plus growing visibility on their Facebook page: Take a Stand for Jesus, We Won't Be Shaken
"I've gotten phone calls and messages from teachers and principal from other schools saying that hey we want to help out in this," said Franks.
"It's been kind of humbling to see all the response from it you know, the people who are tired of not speaking up," said Noel Franks, Cameron's Dad.
"Everybody seems like they're excited about it and they want to help," said Abby Franks.
The shirts are to send a message to people about standing up for what they believe in no matter what that is.
"It's not about me. It's about God. This is for the school," said Franks. "This is the Lord's will and this is what needed to be done a long time ago."
The t-shirts are being sold for $5 but the Franks are also receiving donations and sponsorships from the community so that anyone who wants a shirt and maybe can't afford one, can have one for free.
"The whole idea is that we want to raise enough money to just get everyone a shirt that can't afford one. I mean mainly students and schools right now and citizens that want a shirt that can't get one. We want to raise enough money for them to be able to have one and to be able to support what we believe in," said Franks.
Tuesday, August 26 2014 5:57 AM EDT2014-08-26 09:57:06 GMT
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