Tuesday, December 06, 2011

South Carolina School District Sued Over Promoting Religion

The ACLU announced yesterday that it has filed a federal lawsuit challenging school-sponsored religious activities in the Chesterfield County, South Carolina schools. The complaint (full text) in Anderson v. Chesterfield County School District, (D SC, filed 12/5/2011) alleges a practice by the New Heights Middle School of sponsoring school events that feature prayer, proselytizing, and inculcation of religion.  The complaint focuses particularly on a school evangelical revival assembly held last September which featured a Christian rapper ("B-SHOC"), as well as a minister who delivered a sermon and church members who prayed with students.  Apparently students were also urged to sign a pledge dedicating themselves to Christ. Students who elected not to attend the assembly were required to instead report to the in-school suspension room. The complaint also alleges that religious depictions are displayed at various places in the school. Plaintiffs seek a declaration that these practices violate the Establishment Clause and an injunction to prevent them in the future. (See prior related posting.)