Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

School Bans Christian Mother From Praying on School’s Front Steps

School Officials Ban Christian Mother From Praying Aloud on School’s Front Steps

http://news.yahoo.com/school-officials-ban-christian-mother-praying-aloud-school-144039443.html

A faithful mother in Concord, New Hampshire, will be banned by public school officials from delivering sermons and speeches on the front steps of Concord High School. Lizarda Urena's public proclamations -- uttered aloud as students entered the school -- included prayers and Bible verses, among other religious sentiment.

Concord School Officials Ban Christian Mother Lizarda Urena From Praying Aloud on School Grounds Following Atheist Complaint

Prayer

Credit: AP

Urena, who has two high-school aged children, apparently began arriving at the school around 7 a.m. back in February to offer up prayers. Her ritual, the New Hampshire Union Leader reports, began after she heard that bullets were found in a school bathroom. Now officials, led by Superintendent Christine Rath, are cracking down, claiming that the mother's actions will no longer be allowed when the new school year begins.

The mother's prayers apparently came to the attention of the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), an atheist activist non-profit that works to strip faith out of the public sphere. After learning that Urena was issuing sectarian prayers and proclamations, the organization complained to the district.

"We sent an open records request to the school district, asking them for copies of any meeting minutes or any sort of documents which gave this woman permission to pray on school property," FFRF attorney Rebecca Markert told the Union Leader.

The FFRF was particularly frustrated that the school did not crack down on the speech in the first place. After receiving word from officials that there never was permission for the mother -- at least a documented allowance -- to be speaking on campus in such a manner, the group successfully argued that the Concord School District should make moves to prevent her sermons.

The Alliance for Defending Freedom, a conservative group, defended Urena's prayer atop the school stairs.

"Students and community members that are allowed to come on campus and participate in a neutral thing are allowed to express religious viewpoints," the group's general counsel Matthew Sharp told the Union Leader. "The students know it's the mother and her own speech -- something that the First Amendment protects -- and that it is not the school mandating this woman to do it."

But other groups like the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union agree with the district's stance on the matter. Since students are forced to enter the school and, thus, listen to Urena's speech, the debate is a fascinating one.

The Concord Monitor reports that, as of earlier this week, Urena hadn't yet been told to stop having a presence on campus, but, on Wednesday, Principal Gene Connolly was slated to meet with the mother. The report claims that the mother had already been asked to stop praying aloud, though -- a request she complied with.

Concord School Officials Ban Christian Mother Lizarda Urena From Praying Aloud on School Grounds Following Atheist Complaint

mother prayer

Photo Credit: ShutterStock.com

The outlet, which started to cover the debate back in May, continues:

After the Monitor's article ran [in mid-May], Urena said she was asked to stop praying aloud but was permitted to stay on school property. She heard that people began complaining about her to administrators. When she began praying silently, some students approached her and asked why they could no longer hear her, she said.

Urena plans to continue praying for the students' safety even if she can't do so on campus. She will pray at her home or at the gas station across the street from the school, she said. Although she is sad she will be asked to leave, she said she appreciates that Connolly let her pray there for several months.

Urena's story has prompted diverse responses from faith leaders. While some believe she should have the right to pray at the school in this manner, others agree that the district did the right thing by stopping it.

The FFRF has argued that the district's initial silence was a "stamp of approval" on the mother's faith-based messages. What do you think? Should the mother be allowed to pray...?


....I am only responsible for what I say,NOT for what you understand.....
by on Jul. 26, 2013 at 11:44 AM
Replies (11-20):
Jambo4
by Bronze Member on Jul. 26, 2013 at 12:12 PM
2 moms liked this
Now this is too far. They have NO right to demand it not be placed on nearby church property.
Quoting tanyainmizzou:

Except they might sue to stop that since some think children shouldn't have to be exposed to religion at all.




CONNELLSVILLE, Pa. —

A national group that advocates church-state separation has filed a federal lawsuit seeking to force a Fayette County school district to remove a Ten Commandments monolith from the grounds of its junior high school.

On behalf of an unnamed parent and student, the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation filed the lawsuit against the Connellsville Area School District on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh.

The foundation alleges the 6-foot tall stone monument at Connellsville Junior High School violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment.

They want a judge to order it removed from school property and to prohibit its placement on the grounds of a nearby church.

The group, through Pittsburgh attorney Marcus B. Schneider of Steele Schneider, contends the monument should not be moved to the Connellsville Church of God’s property because it would still be in view of students “who cannot avoid it when playing on athletic fields.”

The parent and student are listed in the lawsuit only as Doe 4 and Doe 5.

Doe 5 is the parent of Doe 4, who according to the lawsuit is a student at the junior high.


http://www.wpxi.com/news/news/local/rallies-will-support-ten-commandments-monument-con/nSNMr/



Quoting JoshRachelsMAMA:

She can pray on the sidewalk, next to/front of the school.


LDS Amber

tanyainmizzou
by Platinum Member on Jul. 26, 2013 at 12:13 PM
1 mom liked this

I agree, but I keep getting told it is only about getting it off government property.

Well, this proves that wrong.

Quoting Jambo4:

Now this goes way to far. They have NO right to demand it not be placed on nearby church property.
Quoting tanyainmizzou:

Except they might sue to stop that since some think children shouldn't have to be exposed to religion at all.




CONNELLSVILLE, Pa. —

A national group that advocates church-state separation has filed a federal lawsuit seeking to force a Fayette County school district to remove a Ten Commandments monolith from the grounds of its junior high school.

On behalf of an unnamed parent and student, the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation filed the lawsuit against the Connellsville Area School District on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh.

The foundation alleges the 6-foot tall stone monument at Connellsville Junior High School violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment.

They want a judge to order it removed from school property and to prohibit its placement on the grounds of a nearby church.

The group, through Pittsburgh attorney Marcus B. Schneider of Steele Schneider, contends the monument should not be moved to the Connellsville Church of God’s property because it would still be in view of students “who cannot avoid it when playing on athletic fields.”

The parent and student are listed in the lawsuit only as Doe 4 and Doe 5.

Doe 5 is the parent of Doe 4, who according to the lawsuit is a student at the junior high.


http://www.wpxi.com/news/news/local/rallies-will-support-ten-commandments-monument-con/nSNMr/



Quoting JoshRachelsMAMA:

She can pray on the sidewalk, next to/front of the school.



ReadWriteLuv
by Silver Member on Jul. 26, 2013 at 12:14 PM
3 moms liked this
If I want my kids to be preached at by strangers spouting sermons I'll march my kid through Times Square in New York
..MoonShine..
by Redwood Witch on Jul. 26, 2013 at 12:16 PM
Good. It doesn't belong there.
JakeandEmmasMom
by Platinum Member on Jul. 26, 2013 at 12:18 PM
2 moms liked this

 Does the district have a policy about non-school related soliciting on campus?  That policy should be the guiding principle in this.

Jambo4
by Bronze Member on Jul. 26, 2013 at 12:19 PM
5 moms liked this

Personally, as a devout, practicing Christian I find it nice that a mom would care enough to pray for the safety of students at her kids' school.  I would be alarmed to hear they found bullets in the bathroom too.

BUT.. as her child.. I'd be mortified.  I wouldn't want her giving sermons or preaching.  Praying, out loud in a corner would be fine.  (silent and at home would be better), but I can't condemn her for wanting the protection and praying for it for the students.  I don't like the way she is going about doing it.  I'd feel uncomfortable about it, but like I said, I can't fault her meaning behind her actions.

owl0210
by Bronze Member on Jul. 26, 2013 at 12:20 PM
Or the Vegas strip lol.

Quoting ReadWriteLuv:

If I want my kids to be preached at by strangers spouting sermons I'll march my kid through Times Square in New York
..MoonShine..
by Redwood Witch on Jul. 26, 2013 at 12:20 PM
I'm LOL that you think your single example "proves that wrong." While I agree that they have no standing to keep it from being placed on the church's grounds (which I am almost certain was chosen so the students could still see it), one example does not support your argument that they are out for more.

Quoting tanyainmizzou:

I agree, but I keep getting told it is only about getting it off government property.

Well, this proves that wrong.

Quoting Jambo4:

Now this goes way to far. They have NO right to demand it not be placed on nearby church property.
Quoting tanyainmizzou:

Except they might sue to stop that since some think children shouldn't have to be exposed to religion at all.




CONNELLSVILLE, Pa. —

A
national group that advocates church-state separation has filed a
federal lawsuit seeking to force a Fayette County school district to
remove a Ten Commandments monolith from the grounds of its junior high
school.

On behalf of an unnamed parent and
student, the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation filed the
lawsuit against the Connellsville Area School District on Thursday in
U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh.

The
foundation alleges the 6-foot tall stone monument at Connellsville
Junior High School violates the establishment clause of the First
Amendment.

They want a judge to order it removed from school property and to prohibit its placement on the grounds of a nearby church.

The
group, through Pittsburgh attorney Marcus B. Schneider of Steele
Schneider, contends the monument should not be moved to the
Connellsville Church of God’s property because it would still be in view
of students “who cannot avoid it when playing on athletic fields.”

The parent and student are listed in the lawsuit only as Doe 4 and Doe 5.

Doe 5 is the parent of Doe 4, who according to the lawsuit is a student at the junior high.


http://www.wpxi.com/news/news/local/rallies-will-support-ten-commandments-monument-con/nSNMr/



Quoting JoshRachelsMAMA:

She can pray on the sidewalk, next to/front of the school.



quickbooksworm
by Silver Member on Jul. 26, 2013 at 12:20 PM
7 moms liked this
Let's be honest, if this were a Muslim praying a LOT of the same people crying persecution would be throwing a huge fit.
Godgaveme4
by Platinum Member on Jul. 26, 2013 at 12:21 PM
Very interesting.

I can understand asking her to not preach. But when asked to just pray silently she was fine BUT then is told that is still not acceptable? Would a group of parents gathered to pray over the school be asked to leave? A parent walking the perimeter of the school praying be asked to stop? And I thought silent prayer was okay. Moms on here are always saying tht students can pray silently at their desk, over their lunch or in a small group. I guess it is not okay after all. And why aren't parents welcome on campus? That is also disturbing.

One of my favorite scenes in the movie Facing Giants is of the man walking the halls touching each locker as he prays. I am assuming the FFRF would have an issue with this also.
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)



Featured