Sunday, December 27, 2015

Wyoming School Allows Prayer Under Lawsuit Threat

A group of students at Glendo (Wyoming) High School that gathered in a corner of the cafeteria to quietly pray together was told to stop it, and Principal Stanetta Twiford instructed the students to conceal themselves elsewhere in the building in order to comply with an ACLU legal opinion concerning visible prayer in schools.  However, after the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) threatened to sue Platte County School District #1 for this unconstitutional prohibition, Superintendent Dennis Fischer acquiesced.

For background, click headlines below to read previous articles:

Let us Pray in School: It's the Law in Missouri

North Carolina Citizens Demand Prayer in Public School

Ohio School Board Wants Prayer, Ignoring Atheists

Louisiana Students, School Reject ACLU's Ungodly Demand

Atheists Threaten Arkansas School so Citizens Pray Publicly

Texas School Supt. Tells Anti-prayer Atheists to Go Fly a Kite

-- From "Wyoming School District Affirms Students' Right To Pray" by Aaron Schrank, Wyoming Public Radio - NPR 12/22/15

In October, some students formed a prayer circle in Glendo High School’s cafeteria. Administrators say a parent lunch monitor and the school principal told the students to pray elsewhere because of concerns about separation of church and state.

But Superintendent Dennis Fischer says—after consulting the district’s attorney—he found that the lunchroom prayer was appropriate and within students’ rights provided under federal law.

Last week, the district sent a letter to Alliance Defending Freedom, informing the group that the incident had been dealt with. Fischer says school staff are now better informed about students' right to pray.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Platte County School District #1 Prayer Controversy" by Roger Gray, KGAB-AM650 12/21/15

The group Alliance Defending Freedom says that the principal of Glendo High School, with a population of only 50 or so students, had prevented a group of 7 students from praying over their meals in the cafeteria.

The ADF says, they were contacted by a local pastor. They sent a letter to the school demanding that the “ban” on prayer be lifted. Here is how they phrased it in their press release…

“No student should be prevented from engaging in private prayer alone or quietly with other students on campus,” said ADF Legal Counsel Jonathan Scruggs. “The U.S. Supreme Court has weighed in on this specifically. The First Amendment protects the right to pray in a non-disruptive manner not just in private but in public, too. The district has done the right thing in lifting its unconstitutional ban.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "School Reminded Of Constitution, Reverses Private Prayer Ban" by Casey Harper, Daily Caller 12/19/15

A small group of students at Platte County School District #1 created a prayer circle [that was led by the children of Pastor Marty Roark] in the cafeteria of Glendo High School to pray for their meal on October 15. The students prayed audibly, and it was not part of a regularly scheduled group. Afterward, the students say Principal Stanetta Twiford accosted one of the students and accused the student of forcing their religion on other students.

The principal allegedly said students needed permission to pray and then must go in the hallway or gymnasium if they wanted to talk to God. That way, other students wouldn’t see the prayer. The school argued the students were a captive audience being forced to witness the prayer. The father of two of the students appealed to the principal, who stood firm on the rule.

“School cafeterias are not religion-free zones, and they certainly do not involve captive audiences,” ADF said in a letter letter to the district. “Students in the cafeteria are not captive audiences because they can leave at any time or turn away from the quiet prayer in the corner…”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Public Prayer Ban Against Christian Students Overturned by School District" by Samuel Smith, Christian Post Reporter 12/21/15

The Roark children and one of their friends told the pastor about the principal not letting them pray in the cafeteria during lunch. Roark then sent [Principal] Twiford information explaining that children had the legal right to pray during lunch.

A few days later when Roark saw Twiford at a school basketball game, he asked her if the students would be allowed to pray. Twiford again rejected the request and said allowing them to pray in the cafeteria would force other students to be a "captive audience."

Roark then left messages for Platte County School District Superintendent Dennis Fischer, who responded by citing the American Civil Liberties Union [ACLU] in stating that Twiford was right to stop the prayer gatherings in the cafeteria because it would have "compelled other students to participate."

After the school district's refusal to let the students pray in the cafeteria during lunch, Roark contacted the Alliance Defending Freedom, which sent a demand letter on Dec. 4 to Fischer, Twiford and the school district's attorney stating that the school has two weeks to allow the students to pray or it would consider filing a lawsuit against the school district.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read Majority in U.S. Want Christmas in Schools: Poll