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Teacher Questioned After Putting Religious Message On Public School Marquee

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NORTHRIDGE (CBSLA.com) — An elementary school in Northridge is at the center of controversy after a religious message was erected on its marquee over Easter weekend.

“READ, REST, GO TO CHURCH HE IS RISEN!” were the words apparently put up by a teacher in charge of the marquee at Darby Elementary.

The school’s principal, who did not want to go on camera, told CBS2′s Dave Lopez the teacher told a colleague she came back to the school on her own time on Saturday to put up the religious message, then returned to take it down Sunday evening.

But critics say it was not appropriate for a public school campus.

“It’s not a Catholic school. It’s not a Christian school. You don’t mix that,” one woman said.

The principal returned to work on Monday morning and said she was flooded with complaints in person, over the phone and via e-mail.

Parents near the elementary school had varying opinions.

“You’re talking [about] a public school where you have many religions and many faiths and many cultures and many who don’t even believe in God. So that would be very controversial,” one woman said.

“[It's] just fine with me. I’m a Christian so that’s cool with me. I don’t see any problem. What is the problem?” another man asked.

“I don’t feel that it’s right. I would have been offended if it was Jewish or Islam,” a woman said.

“It wouldn’t have bothered me one way or another. If they said ‘Happy Passover’ that would have been fine,” another added.

The principal and L.A. Unified School District officials agreed the words do not belong on a public school marquee and said the teacher would be questioned.

Officials would not comment on any disciplinary action, saying only that it is a personnel matter that would not be publicly discussed.

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