FFRF: school play is no time to pray (April 17, 2013)

An Indiana primary school will make sure school officials no longer lead prayer at school functions after the Freedom From Religion Foundation contacted the school district.

A concerned parent of a student at North Knox Primary School contacted FFRF after the principal delivered a Christian prayer at a kindergarten play.

FFRF Staff Attorney Patrick Elliott contacted Dr. Darrel Bobe, the superintendent of North Knox School Corporation, in a March 13 letter. He requested Bobe inform school staff that they are not allowed to direct, encourage or participate in prayer or religious exercises at school or at related functions.

“The law is clear,” Elliott said. “School events must be secular to protect the freedom of conscience of all students. It is coercive and inappropriate for a principal at a school function to urge attendees to participate in prayer.”

Elliott pointed out how young and impressionable elementary students are, making the principal’s misuse of authority extremely egregious.

Bobe responded in an April 17 letter to inform FFRF that the district’s administrative staff will not lead, direct or ask students to engage in prayer in the future.

Freedom From Religion Foundation