Sunday, August 30, 2015

Teacher Prayers for Students Illegal, Atheists Say

The American Humanist Association (AHA) is threatening to sue Lamar County School District because an eighth grade teacher in Hattiesburg, Mississippi prays, OUTside of class, for her students and maintains a list of their names on a closet door in a back room off the classroom.  The parent of one student alerted the AHA of this, what the atheists claim is, a horrific violation of the U.S. Constitution.
“This was prompted by getting a letter from a concerned parent that her child saw the prayer requests board.”
-- Monica Merrill, attorney for Appignani Humanist Legal Center in Washington, D.C.
For background, click headlines below to read previous articles:

AHA Threatens Mississippi School for Acting Christian

Atheist Prayer Complaint Costs Mississippi School $7500+

AHA Forces 'God Bless America' Banned from Florida School

Atheists Force Michigan Schools to Ban Christians

Georgia Citizens & School Stand up to Anti-Prayer AHA Atheists

Also read Texas School Supt. Tells Atheists to Go Fly a Kite

In addition, read the long list of states enacting laws to bring religious liberty back to schools.

-- From "Group demands removal of prayer request board" by Ellen Ciurczak, Hattiesburg American Staff Writer 8/24/15

The [AHA] emailed an eight-page letter Sunday to Superintendent Tess Smith, Oak Grove Middle School Principal Patrick Gray and Oak Grove Middle School Assistant Principal Robin Ryder.  The letter included a photo taken by the student of the prayer request board [attached to the closet door].

Smith declined comment Monday, saying she was waiting to hear from the district’s attorney on the matter.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Teacher forced to remove prayer request board from classroom" by Cox Media Group National Content Desk 8/25/15

The [AHA] association's letter said the prayer request board is "correctly perceived as a constitutional violation." It continued accusing Rogers of violating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

The First Amendment reads "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

The association said that if corrective steps were not taken by next week, it would take the matter to federal court.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Group: Mississippi teacher's prayer request board illegal" by Kate Royals, Jackson Clarion-Ledger 8/24/15

Randi Rogers, an eighth grade teacher at Oak Grove Middle School in Hattiesburg, reportedly witnessed a student take a picture of the board and confronted the student after class, according to a letter from the American Humanist Association to the school district.

Lamar County Superintendent Tess Smith said the board, which was on a chalkboard-like surface on a closet door in the classroom, has been erased. Smith said she has sent the letter, which she received late Sunday, to the district's attorney.

Smith said she spoke to the teacher only "very briefly" and that the principal is taking statements from the teacher and the student.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Oak Grove prayer board response being considered" by Tim Doherty, Jackson Clarion-Ledger 8/25/15

[Supt.] Smith said [the] board is actually painted on the door of a closet-like space that contains an air-conditioning unit — “It’s kind of tucked away in the back of the room, facing the opposite direction” — and that the idea for the board had come from requests of students.

“The teacher thought she was staying within guidelines since it was a student-led situation,” Smith said. “She said she never mentioned it aloud in class. It was something they could do before class or after class or just whenever.

“If we are breaking the law or violating the Constitution, then we will stop immediately,” Smith said. “But can students write their name on a wall in some other form? We’ll just have to await the attorney’s input.”

Smith said comments from parents were “overwhelmingly” in favor of the board.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Atheists Threaten to Sue School Over Students' Prayer Board in Eighth Grade Classroom" by Michael Gryboski, Christian Post Reporter 8/28/15

Lamar County School District officials will soon issue a decision regarding the prayer request display, which was on a classroom's closet door at Oak Grove Middle School.

"The 'board' is painted onto the back of a closet door. The names have been removed at this time to protect the students," said Tess R. Smith, superintendent of the Lamar County School District, to The Christian Post regarding the status of the prayer request board.

Smith also told CP that she wished "that the parents had contacted me or the principal directly" rather than going to the American Humanist Association, the atheist group that sent the letter to the district threatening a potential lawsuit if the board isn't removed.

In the AHA's letter of complaint to Smith, Oak Grove Principal Patrick Gray and Assistant Principal Robin Ryder, Miller further argued that: "faculty involvement in prayer with student is even unconstitutional outside the formal classroom setting."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read Atheists, Satanists Force Bible Ban in Florida Schools

And read Atheists Force Bible Bans at Colleges Across America