Perhaps Billings School District 2 Superintendent Keith Beeman learned something during the last school year.

Teachers in the district today met at the Alberta Bair Theater to launch the new school year -- a much more appropriate venue for a public school district meeting than where they were forced to gather last year.

Billings teachers were greeted by the message above in 2010 when they attended a manadatory Billings School District meeting prior to the beginning of the school year.

What was really at stake that day wasn't eternity. It was our nation's First Amendment right to freedom of religion and the establishment clause that is supposed to protect them from government-imposed religion.

Under protest from some teachers and from the ACLU of Montana, District Superintendent Beeman rented the Faith Chapel church for the public school meeting even though non-religious facilities were available.

Teachers were required to attend the meeting and could not work in their classrooms or other locations. Three took personal leave in protest.

The district never admitted wrongdoing, but we are glad that it held its meeting at a neutral venue this year.