School officials forced the third-grader to remove her face mask with the phrase “Jesus Loves Me.” Now the Mississippi family is alleging religious discrimination.

Matthew and Jennifer Booth filed a federal lawsuit against the Simpson Country School District in Mississippi after their daughter, Lydia, was forced to remove her mask and replace it with one her school provided, Christian Headlines reports.

Wearing masks is a requirement for all students to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

The lawsuit says, the school allows “students to convey a multitude of messages concerning unlimited topics on their masks” such as “Black Lives Matter” and the New Orleans Saints’ logo but forced Booth to remove her “Jesus Loves Me” mask, even though the suit says it had “caused no disruptions.”

The third-grader could be suspended if she continues wearing the “Jesus Loves Me” themed mask. Alliance Defending Freedom is representing the family, Christian Headlines reports.

The school’s policy prohibits messages on masks that are “political, religious, sexual or inappropriate” and may be “offensive, disruptive or deemed distractive,” according to the suit.

“Defendants’ censorship of [Booth’s] religious message, and the Religious Speech Policy and practice on which that censorship was based, violate the First Amendment and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution,” the suit says.

The suit adds that Booth is a Christian “and desires to share her religious views with her classmates.”

The suit says the school’s policy violates Booth’s constitutionally protected freedoms of speech and religion.

“Public schools have a duty to respect the free expression of students that the First Amendment guarantees to them,” said ADF legal counsel Michael Ross.

“While school administrators face challenges in helping students navigate school life during a pandemic, those officials simply can’t suspend the First Amendment or arbitrarily pick and choose the messages that students can or can’t express,” Ross said.

“Other students within the school district have freely worn masks with the logos of local sports teams or even the words ‘Black Lives Matter.’ This student deserves an equal opportunity to peacefully express her beliefs.”

Do you think this student was discriminated against based on religion? Do you think she should be allowed to wear her mask at school?

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