Sunday, June 21, 2009

School District Incurs High Legal Fees In Unsuccessful Defense of Prayer Lawsuit

Today's Pensacola (FL) News Journal reports that the Santa Rosa County (FL) School District ran up nearly $200,000 in legal fees defending a lawsuit against it challenging prayer and religious activities in the schools. The lawsuit was settled in March, with the school district agreeing to give up the practices. (See prior posting.) However contempt proceedings against a school employee for violating the decree are still pending. (See prior posting.) The school district may also need to pay at least some $250,000 in fees incurred by the ACLU. The school district's insurance company will cover part of the costs. In something of an understatement, School District Superintendent Tim Wyrosdick said: "It's not where I would have placed that amount of money, but it was what it was." The school district already faces budget shortfalls that are leading to cuts in program, staff and teachers.