Mississippi School District Fined $7500 for Opening Assembly with Prayer

Allowing a school assembly honoring high-achievers to open with a prayer made one Mississippi school district $7,500 poorer – and a student who sued
$2,500 richer.

The Rankin, Miss., public school district was hit with the fine after U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves said it defied his prior order barring
prayers school events. According to the judge, the prayer violated a 2013 court settlement that ordered the district to stop “proselytizing
Christianity.” The alleged violation, which came at an assembly last year for students who scored above 22 on their ACT college admissions test,
prompted the judge to apply fines for that and another incident, in which Gideons International was permitted to hand out Bibles to elementary school

Interesting. I’m not sure suing was necessary. Though I guess if it helps get the point across. It seems this school is a repeat offender.

“From the accounts detailed in the record, it appears that incorporating religious script and prayers with school activities has been a
long-standing tradition of the district,” the judge argued.

In a statement issued by an attorney, Rankin County Superintendent Lynn Weathersby said that despite the court’s ruling, students and teachers will
continue to pray. However, district staff will have to adjust in order to comply with the ruling.

Mississippi School District Fined

When I was in junior high, a youth minister from a baptist church would come and sit near the doors of the lunch room. He was a cool guy, and would
throw you some candy or some other thing. During lunch he ran a youth group in one of the unoccupied rooms. Fun games and a short lesson which ended
in prayer.

As far as I know, nobody had a problem with him. The school obviously knew he was there and was aware of what he was doing. Since he was not actually
staff or anything no laws were violated (as far as I know). He was never in your face about Jesus when trying to get you to come so the only real
proselytizing came during the group, if you volunteered to go.

Maybe this school can do something like that where they can pray, or read scripture. I understand how it may be difficult for the people of strong
faith there to keep it out of the schools. If I’m not mistaken, the majority are Christians in that state.

What does ATS think about this case?

Is there any conceivable way those of faith in this school can find a way to pray and read scripture together without violating any laws?

Or should faith be kept out of public school entirely?


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