FFRF stops unconstitutional prayers at Kentucky Elementary school (December 19, 2017)

After receiving multiple reports from concerned parents that a Kentucky public elementary school was promoting religion to its students, FFRF got involved. It was brought to FFRF’s attention that a teacher at Valley Elementary School in Pikeville, Ky., was requiring students to say a prayer while they lined up for lunch: “God is great. God is good. Let us thank him for our food. By his grace we are fed. Thank him for our daily bread.”

Additionally, another parent reported to FFRF that as part of a Christmas party, the school planned to take its second-grade students to see “The Star,” a Christian adventure comedy retelling the nativity of Jesus. The plot of the film follows the biblical account of the birth of Jesus.

FFRF Legal Fellow Chris Line wrote to an attorney representing Pike County Schools on Dec. 14, informing him that public school teachers may not lead their students in prayer, encourage prayer or otherwise endorse religion to students. Line also warned the district that bringing public school students on a field trip to a Christian movie as part of a Christmas party is a blatant and unconstitutional promotion of Christianity.

An attorney informed FFRF in a Dec. 19 phone call that he would discuss the violations with the principal of the school to ensure that the teacher stops praying and that the district makes lawful movie choices in the future.

Freedom From Religion Foundation