Thursday, August 14, 2014

Georgia Citizens & School vs. Anti-Prayer Atheists

Townsfolk gathered this week with students at Chestatee High School in Gainesville to pray in the face of threats from atheists who say that if "illegal prayers" on the football team aren't stopped within 14 days, the American Humanist Association (AHA) Appignani Humanist Legal Center will sue the Hall County Schools.
“. . . we will stand behind is our students’ right to prayer. . . . Foundational to our country is a respect for individual beliefs.”
-- Will Schofield, Superintendent of Schools
For background, click headlines below to read previous articles:

Georgia Christian Teachers Muzzled, Citizens Rebel

Illegal Christianity 'Rampant' in Georgia Schools, Atheists Say

Shoppers' Prayers Forbidden at Georgia Mall

Atheists Attack Christian Kids Club at Portland, Oregon Schools

Also read of countless examples of citizens banding together to defy the atheists and pray in school and other local government bodies.

UPDATE 12/7/14: Ohio School Supt. & Citizens vs. Complaining Atheists

UPDATE 9/1/14: Thousands vs. Atheists, Prayer at Florida Football

-- From "Atheist group threatens lawsuit against Chestatee HS for football prayer" by Brian Stewart, Staff, Access North Georgia 8/12/14

In a letter sent via email to Superintendent of Hall County Schools Will Schofield, the AHA says that they "have been informed that the school’s football coaches have been using their position to promote Christianity on the football team by integrating Bible verses into functional team documents and team promotions in various ways."

The letter was also sent to Board of Education Chairman Nath Morris and CHS Principal Suzanne Jarrard.

[AHA attorney Monica] Miller said the complaint came from a "concerned citizen," but she said that person has asked to remain anonymous.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Group alleges illegal religious practices at Chestatee High School" by Jennifer Brown, Gainesville Times 8/12/14

Included in the letter are three photographs that show the team and a coach standing in a circle while holding hands in apparent prayer, a pregame banner bearing the messages “Iron Sharpens Iron” and “Proverbs 27:17” and a workout sheet with the team logo at the top and “Gal. 6:9” in large letters at the bottom.

Schofield said religious verses may be used in schools in certain contexts.

“There certainly is no legal precedent that you can’t use a verse ... that does not promote a particular religion,” he said.

[AHA attorney Monica] Miller said that, if there is a lawsuit, the center will seek an injunction ordering the school to cease the activity and a declaration that the practices are unconstitutional. She said the center would also seek attorney’s fees, which could amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Schools struggle with religious expression on campus" by Jennifer Brown, Gainesville Times 8/14/14

The Alliance Defending Freedom handbook, which is distributed at schools by groups including the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, also addresses the issue of coaches leading prayer at games.

Students, however, have the right to pray together during school events, as long as the activity is initiated and led by students, not faculty. Teachers also have the right to engage in religious practices with one another when students are not there, according to the handbook.

“Teachers might not be leading prayers with their students, but teachers and other employees do have the right to live out their faith in a variety of ways,” Schofield said. “There’s an awful lot of areas where there really aren’t any clear, definitive answers. ... Probably the most important thing is the almost unlimited rights of students.”

Schofield said students have the right to pray, read religious materials, form religious clubs and otherwise express their religious beliefs.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read the long list of states enacting laws to bring prayer back to schools in response to the myriad atheist lawsuits against Christians and prayer nationwide.