CADDO-BOSSIER PARISH, LA (KSLA) - Many residents in the ArkLaTex are rallying behind the Caddo Parish principal accused of violating the First Amendment by making Biblical references in a newsletter.
was created for Walnut Hill Elementary/ Middle School Principal Albert Hardison in the aftermath of the allegations from the American Civil Liberties Union.
Hardison reportedly included a reference to Philippians 4:13 in the March newsletter that went to parents and staff.
The newsletter read:
As our students prepare to take the state mandated tests, LEAP, iLEAP and PARCC, please pray that our God will give them the strength and mental fortitude, the patience, the wisdom, and the energy to do their best. Please help our children understand the meaning of Phillippians 4:13...I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.
In just a few days, the number of supporters has gone from a few hundreds to thousands on the Support Albert Hardison Facebook page.
"It's growing hourly. People are sharing it, getting the word out," parent Penny Cardino said.
Cardino says it's the students who request prayer from Hardison.
"They go up to Mr. Hardison, 'I'm having a bad day. Would you pray with me please,'" Cardino said.
They say whatever Hardison is doing is working, and there is no need to change a thing.
"Some of the children are so passionate about it, if Mr. Hardison is forced out or forced to retire, they will not attend Walnut Hill," Cardino said.
"I just feel that this is a disservice to Mr. Hardison, and he just needs to know that we love him and support him and we're behind him," she added.
"I completely support Mr. Hardison and all that he does, as far as my family and I are concerned," Walnut Hill teacher Labresha Lane said.
Supporters are planning a Prayer at the Pole event in support of Hardison at 10 a.m. Friday at Grawood Baptist Church in the 5800 block of Colquitt Road in Keithville. Nearly 500 people have joined the event's Facebook page.