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Hot Topic (8/12): School officials face criminal charges for lunch-time prayer

Posted by on Aug. 12, 2009 at 2:08 AM
  • 234 Replies

School officials face jail time for meal-time prayers
Pete Chagnon - OneNewsNow - 8/11/2009

A principal and an athletic director are facing criminal charges for a lunch-time prayer.

Last year, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against Pace High School in Santa Rosa County, Florida. The ACLU claimed some teachers and administrators were endorsing religion, but the school chose to give in to the ACLU's demands rather than fight them in court.
 
According to the settlement, all school employees are banned from engaging in prayer or religious activities before, during, or after school hours. Now two school officials are facing criminal charges for offering meal-time prayers at an appreciation dinner for adults who had helped with a school field house project. Principal Frank Lay and athletic director Robert Freeman are scheduled to go on trial next month on criminal contempt charges. If convicted, both are subject to fines and imprisonment.
 
Matt Staver is founder of Liberty Counsel, which will argue the court order prohibiting prayer at school-related events violated Lay's and Freeman's constitutional rights.
 
"In this particular case, Principal Frank Lay asked the athletic director to have a prayer for the meal at an honorary luncheon in celebration for some of the athletic achievements. And then in [another] situation, the clerical worker at an event where some employees of the school were present asked her husband, who is not an employee of the school, to have a blessing over a meal," he explains. "Because of those two events, these individuals now face criminal contempt."
 
Staver believes that the accusers in this case are students who recently graduated. If that is the case, he says the case is moot. However, Staver adds it is outrageous to punish a school official with potential jail time for simply praying.

* * *

What do you think about prayer in school?

Do you think these school officials should be punished? 

 





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by on Aug. 12, 2009 at 2:08 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Natish0405
by on Aug. 12, 2009 at 2:20 AM

I give kudos to them for defying the judge.  When any law of the land opposes something God instructs you to do, you go with the higher authority.

mamaof2angles
by on Aug. 12, 2009 at 2:25 AM

Yes because its freedom of religion and No they should not go to jail. when I attended high school before EVERY football game or track meet or basketball game we all said a prayer in a circle holding hands if you didn't want to say the prayer that was fine you just stood there quietly.  This is getting really ridiculous and outrageous what people sue for nowadays, it almost makes you want to not leave the house.

Goodwoman614
by Satan on Aug. 12, 2009 at 2:30 AM

Yawn.

They were in clear violation of the settlement agreement.

Not to mention, agreement or no, any public endorsement of religion violates separation of church and state.  There should be no public endorsement of religion.

Oh, but I know some *Americans* think

"IT'S O.K. IF YOU'RE CHRISTIAN."



"I'll fight for a person's right to speak so long as that person will, in return, fight to allow me to challenge their opinions and ridicule them as the content of their ideas merit."

                                         

                                                             

texanmommy
by on Aug. 12, 2009 at 3:12 AM

I think they should pray at all functions, and allow any religion that is in the body of the students equal time to pray in their fashion...God himself says he has many names, it is sad some religions do not qualify that we might all be praying to the same entity...?? Just going about it a little differently.

marissaj125
by Member on Aug. 12, 2009 at 3:18 AM

well our school wouldve sued his ass. 90% of students and teachers dont beleive in religion. we dont even have to say the pledge of alliance. we just dont care, they should of known better. athiest are growing and will not tolerate that. they ment no harm but our school is strict about church and state. *and athiest dont include ppl who dont care, i dont want to offend anyone. but thats how we are in  our district

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ballerina18
by Member on Aug. 12, 2009 at 3:47 AM


Quoting Goodwoman614:

Yawn.

They were in clear violation of the settlement agreement.

Not to mention, agreement or no, any public endorsement of religion violates separation of church and state.  There should be no public endorsement of religion.

Oh, but I know some *Americans* think

"IT'S O.K. IF YOU'RE CHRISTIAN."



Well said! I completely agree. There should be no public endorsement of religion!

ilovemymonkeys4
by on Aug. 12, 2009 at 8:52 AM

According to the settlement, all school employees are banned from engaging in prayer or religious activities before, during, or after school hours

 

Wow this statement is pretty broad. Does that mean even on their personal time they aren't allowed to do so? If this was in the settlement and they clearly have a religious belief why would they even agree to that??

mamaof2angles
by on Aug. 12, 2009 at 9:05 AM

Good question.

Quoting ilovemymonkeys4:

According to the settlement, all school employees are banned from engaging in prayer or religious activities before, during, or after school hours

 

Wow this statement is pretty broad. Does that mean even on their personal time they aren't allowed to do so? If this was in the settlement and they clearly have a religious belief why would they even agree to that??


Stefanie1085
by Silver Member on Aug. 12, 2009 at 10:08 AM


Quoting marissaj125:

well our school wouldve sued his ass. 90% of students and teachers dont beleive in religion. we dont even have to say the pledge of alliance. we just dont care, they should of known better. athiest are growing and will not tolerate that. they ment no harm but our school is strict about church and state. *and athiest dont include ppl who dont care, i dont want to offend anyone. but thats how we are in  our district


I am a little confused here. Don't care about the country or religion? I understand not wanting to say 'under God', but the Pledge of Allegiance shows pride in your country. Why not just leave those words out, since they weren't added until the Red Scare anyway?

Stefanie1085
by Silver Member on Aug. 12, 2009 at 10:12 AM


Quoting ilovemymonkeys4:

According to the settlement, all school employees are banned from engaging in prayer or religious activities before, during, or after school hours

 

Wow this statement is pretty broad. Does that mean even on their personal time they aren't allowed to do so? If this was in the settlement and they clearly have a religious belief why would they even agree to that??


This is what I was thinking. The teachers at my school could pray before school (we had a see you at the pole day) if they were in our organization  Fellowship of Christian Athletes. I think that student organizations for any religion should be allowed before or after school. Its not forcing religion on anybody.

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