FFRF examines, stops Georgia pre-exam “prayer circle” (June 12, 2013)

The Freedom From Religion Foundation reminded the Lowndes County School System in Valdosta, Ga., that schools cannot inject religion into their classrooms.

A concerned parent contacted FFRF after her student’s classmates and teachers ostracized him when he refused to participate in the Hahira Elementary School class’ illegal prayer circle. Several middle school teachers led the prayer circle to prepare for upcoming standardized testing.

FFRF Staff Attorney Andrew Seidel sent a May 29 letter to the School System that outlined several Supreme Court cases that struck down teacher or school-led prayer. “This flagrant violation will only exacerbate the bullying of non-Christian students,” Seidel wrote. “Teachers should strive to be inclusive, not inject religion, a divisive force, into their classes.”

The School System’s legal counsel responded in a June 12 letter that, “the principal has counseled with his staff as it relates to the Lowndes County School System’s prohibition against employee directed prayer.”

FFRF recommends a good night of sleep, a healthy breakfast and studying as the best way to prepare for standardized tests.

Freedom From Religion Foundation