FFRF stops school board prayer in Michigan (Sept. 10, 2012)

The Pellston, Mich. Public Schools Board of Education meetings no longer open with prayer, after receiving a complaint from the Freedom of Religion Foundation on behalf of a local resident.

The Pellston Board of Education began its scheduled meetings with a prayer, often delivered by a member of the Board. FFRF sent a letter of complaint in July 2011. An attorney for the Board responded, that he did not believe the Board’s conduct was illegal.

In a November 2011 letter, FFRF Staff Attorney Stephanie Schmitt clarified the prevailing law and assured the Board it was in violation of the U.S. Constitution. She warned it to discontinue the practice immediately and “eliminate the need for costly and protracted litigation of an issue that is settled by the courts.”

An attorney for the Board responded in a Sept. 10 letter, “the Board of Education no longer opens its meetings with a prayer. Instead, the Board observes a moment of silence which is not intended to promote religion.”

Freedom From Religion Foundation