No ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ for One TN Elementary School

Aleta Ledendecker, president of the East Tennessee chapter of Freedom From Religion Foundation, recently wrote an email to the principal of Linden Elementary School in Oak Ridge, Tenn., on behalf of two disgruntled parents who were upset that one of the school’s teachers played a portion of the “Hallelujah Chorus” during morning announcements. Ledendecker wrote, “In consideration of all the possible choices of music, this piece with its distinctly religious content can be interpreted as proselytizing.”

Instead of bowing to the atheist group’s wishes, the school sided with the teacher because the musical selection corresponded to that week’s overall music curriculum, which just so happened to be about the musical works of George Frideric Handel. Schools Superintendent Bruce Borchers stated, “We strongly disagreed with her position and, through our attorney, we responded promptly to the writer suggesting that she was in error.” Borcher is now responding to Ledendecker’s open records request and so far no legal action has been taken by FFRF.

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