Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Suit Charges Louisiana School Promotes Christian Beliefs and Broadcasts Daily Prayer

In Louisiana yesterday, the mother of a high school student filed suit against a local school board alleging extensive Establishment Clause violations.  The complaint (full text) in Cole v. Webster Parish School Board, (WD LA, filed 12/18/2017) alleges in part:
2 ... [T]he Webster Parish School District has a longstanding custom, policy, and practice of promoting and inculcating Christian religious beliefs by sponsoring religious activities and conveying religious messages to students, including by broadcasting prayers daily over school speakers.
3. So engrained is official promotion of religion at Webster Parish schools that virtually all school events—such as sports games, pep rallies, assemblies, and graduation ceremonies—include school-sponsored Christian prayer, religious messages and/or proselytizing. Graduation ceremonies are frequently held in houses of worship, and at times they resemble religious rituals that include Bible verses and Christian prayers.
The ACLU issued a press release announcing the filing of the lawsuit. Shreveport Times reports on the lawsuit.