ACLU Lawsuit Targets School Prayers in Tiny Missouri Town

See our article “What Does the U.S. Constitution Actually Say About Religion?” for more information.

(AgapePress) – A small Missouri school district is staring down a lawsuit over school prayer. The suit alleges that teacher-led prayer during two school assemblies violated the constitutional rights of students.
Two students and their mother have filed suit against the Doniphan School District in southeast Missouri. Filed on their behalf by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Eastern Missouri, the lawsuit claims that on two successive days in May 2005, school assemblies at Doniphan Elementary School began with teachers leading a prayer. The ACLU notes in a press release that the family bringing the suit is “not Christian,” while both prayers were “Christian.”
According to the ACLU, when the district superintendent was contacted about the matter, he offered to remedy the matter by telling school administrators they should invite a student, not a teacher, to lead school prayers in the future. That response, says the ACLU, demonstrates the superintendent’s “lack of understanding” of both the Constitution and the district’s own policies.
“Such religious activities are not only inconsistent with the policies of the Doniphan R-I School District,” states the lawsuit, “but also constitute an establishment of religion in violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States.” The suit seeks an injunction preventing both teacher- and student-led prayer during in-school assemblies to prevent what the ACLU describes as “irreparable harm” to students who are “coerce[d]” into participating in “religious exercises.”

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