FFRF halts public school prayers to Christian and Native American deities (June 23, 2014)

Ignacio School District in Ignacio, Colo., will no longer feature prayers at certain ceremonies held throughout the academic year.

A complainant reported to FFRF that the District included prayers before graduation, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas ceremonies. It was also reported that two prayers are offered at each of these events, one to a Christian god and another to the Ute Native American god.

FFRF Staff Attorney Andrew Seidel sent a letter on Oct. 18, explaining that it is illegal to have prayer at school-sponsored events:

“It is of no consequence if the school, as has been alleged, includes prayer of varying faiths. The school district has a legal duty to remain neutral toward religion. By scheduling any prayer at all the school necessarily excludes non-Christian, non-Ute and non-religious students.”

Seidel noted, “the courts have continually reaffirmed that the rights of minorities are protected by the Constitution.”

After receiving a follow-up letter, the district responded on June 23 that, “We have discontinued that practice.” 

This six-word response sets a record for the most concise victory letter an FFRF Staff Attorney has ever received. 

Freedom From Religion Foundation