Saturday, January 29, 2011

School Board Prayers Challenge Atheist Organization

When the Polk County, FL school received a letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation threatening a lawsuit to force termination of prayer at Board meetings, the Board decided to allow voluntary prayer before the meeting begins, knowing it will be sued regardless.

-- From "School Board won't bow to anti-prayer group" by Phil Attinger, News Chief correspondent (Winter Haven, FL) 1/26/11

Polk County School Board members have no intention of doing away with prayer before their regular meetings.

During a work session Tuesday, board members said they want to continue to allow local religious leaders to offer a prayer before meetings, but not during them, and make it clear the prayer is voluntary.

School Board Attorney Wes Bridges said [the Freedom From Religion Foundation] appears to exist for the sole purpose of filing lawsuits on the separation of church and state. Usually the question comes up when an organization is upset with how or who, but the group now wants the practice to stop completely.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Polk County School District May Face Prayer Lawsuit" by Merissa Green, The Ledger (Lakeland, FL) 1/25/11

[Wes Bridges] said it could cost the board $300,000 to $500,000 in legal fees to fight a lawsuit. And if the board loses, there's the possibility it would have to pay the legal fees of the plaintiff.

However, there is a possibility an advocacy group could help subsidize the School District's defense, Bridges said.

School Board member Hazel Sellers said people would have the option to come in during the prayer or after the start of the meeting.

"I prayed about this before I came this morning ... and I think we need to ask our community to begin to pray about this," Sellers said.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.