Monday, March 16, 2015

School, Atheists Agree: Restrict Christians in WV

The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), by threatening a lawsuit, successfully intimidated the Harrison County (West Virginia) School District into "banning prayer" (media are reporting).  Statements from school officials demonstrate that they fell for the FFRF propaganda and feared an actual lawsuit.
"I believe that anyone who wants to say a prayer, or any student that wants to say a prayer should have that right. I do not believe that any of that should be governed by schools."
-- Linda Long, Upshur County resident (WDTV-TV5)
For background, read how schools capitulate to atheists in Oklahoma, Delaware & Maine out of ignorance of the Constitution.

However, other schools know the facts:  Texas School Supt. Tells Atheists to Go Fly a Kite

UPDATE 3/20/15: Atheists Force Michigan Schools to Ban Christians

Also read Atheists Threaten to Sue Every School in Tennessee and in Mississippi but admit they're Short on Lawyers to Sue ALL Christians

In addition, read U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of public prayer, and read the resulting resurgence in public prayer following the Supreme Court decision including the long list of states enacting laws to bring prayer back to schools.

-- From "School Board Bans Prayer In School For Students And Staff In West Virginia District" posted at Inquisitr 3/15/15

Acting on complaints from the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF), the board is forcing all teachers, coaches, and staff, to put a stop to any form of student prayer that they see at school or a school-related event.

All staff are required to sign off on the memo banning prayer in school. The complaints were filed after it came to the FFRF’s attention that an athletic team had led a prayer at an unspecified event and invited another team to join them.

Coaches and employees of the district were not involved in the prayer.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Student-Athletes, Parents React to Letter about Prayer at Games" by Nicole Porter, WDTV-TV5 (Bridgeport, WV) 3/13/15

Superintendent Dr. Mark Manchin said that even though the alleged instance in question was not inside the school, it was at a school sponsored event on school property. That means no coaches, administrators or anyone associated with the Board of Education can lead a team in prayer. That's why the school board issued the [ban] letter, which needs signed by every coach.

Dr. Manchin did clarify though that student-athletes are still permitted to pray before games if they would like.

"It can be led by students, it can be led spontaneously by students, several students can get together to pray to whoever they wish. There's no banning of that," he said.

Dr. Manchin said this letter is just reiterating what has been told to coaches for years as part of federal law.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Harrison County Schools reminded of employee-led prayer ban" by Darlene J. Swiger, Staff Writer, The Exponent Telegram (Clarksburg, WV) 3/13/15

“We had a coach leading prayer and asking other coaches to participate,” Manchin said. “I spoke to the principal and personnel director and informed them. The principal spoke to the coach in question and that will no longer take place.”

The [FFRF] complaint said a concerned parent contacted the group about the coach encouraging and participating in prayer at games, both away and at home. It requested the district take immediate action to stop any and all school-sponsored prayers occurring.

“I don’t always agree with everything. It is the law of the land and we certainly will respect that,” Manchin said. “A memorandum was sent out by (Assistant Superintendent) Anthony Fratto as a reminder. We’ve given administrators this information every year.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Harrison Co. School Memo Bans Coaches, Staff from Leading Prayer at Athletic, Extracurricular Events" by Jeff Toquinto, Connect Bridgeport (West Virginia) 3/13/15

“I’m frustrated by it, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do. If that’s the law, I can’t in good conscience leave the school board exposed to legal penalties down the road. We don’t need the financial penalty and bad press that comes with that,” said Fratto.

Fratto cited several United States Supreme Court cases where school-sponsored prayer was shot down in the memo that was sent to principals. He also stated in the memorandum that “the fact that a student was leading the prayer did not cure the constitutional violation.”

“A teacher or a coach cannot be involved with this,” said Fratto. “My understanding, however, is that if a kid has a spontaneous prayer on their own and a few others join in then that would be fine. At the same time, I’m not a lawyer, but if it’s spontaneous that doesn’t seem to fit the definition of school sponsored and there’s nothing that can be done about that.”

“They were going to sue us immediately,” said Fratto. “ … I’m sure this has been in an issue in West Virginia before, but this is the first time that I, personally, am aware that it’s come to Harrison County.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read Florida School Teaches Islam Including Prayer Rugs and Pseudo Prayer is Mandatory at School in San Francisco -- No complaints from atheists.

And yet read about the outrage against any Christian presence in public schools across America, including the war on Christmas, and read how the schools support atheists, even though polls show that most Americans support prayer in school.