Friday, June 13, 2014

Consent Decree Entered In Suit Over Devotional Exercises In School

The American Humanist Association yesterday announced the entry of a consent decree which settles its lawsuit against a Missouri school district.  AHA sued the district over devotional exercises held before the beginning of school in the classroom of a teacher who is adviser to the Christian student group. (See prior posting.) The consent decree (full text) in American Humanist Association v. Fayette R-III School District, (WD MO, May 19, 2014) requires the school district to amend its Student-Teacher Handbook in various ways and provides other relief.  As summarized in AHA's press release:
In the consent decree agreed upon by the parties, the school is permanently enjoined from promoting prayer and religious activity, and religious clubs will be given no special privileges that other clubs do not enjoy. The school district also agreed to amend its announcement policies so that they will not identify any religious activities taking place at student group meetings. Also, faculty sponsors of student groups will not be permitted to participate in religious activities of the groups. School employees will also no longer be allowed to keep religious materials in places in open view.