Rooks v. Peoria Unified School District (2024)

On April 18, 2024 FFRF and Secular Coalition for Arizona filed a motion seeking leave to submit an amicus brief in the District Court of Arizona. This case came about after FFRF contacted the school board for the Peoria Unified School District in 2023 about board member Heather Rooks reading bible verses before meetings. The board’s attorney advised Rooks to stop because it subjected the board to legal liability. Rooks filed a federal suit in September 2023 against her school board, contending that her free speech rights were being violated.

The brief argued that the case should be dismissed because there was no actual case or controversy as Rooks had not suffered an injury. Additionally, it explained that Rooks’ arguments ignored and misstated Establishment Clause precedent.

The amicus motion was filed by Arizona attorney Julie Gunnigle and the brief was drafted by FFRF attorneys Sam Grover and Sammi Lawrence, along with Secular AZ attorney Dianne Post.


Press Release 

FFRF’s original letter to the board

Freedom From Religion Foundation