FFRF reminded the Hyde Park Central School District in New York that active involvement of faculty during after-school clubs is inappropriate.
In a Nov. 7 letter to Superintendent Greer Rychcik, FFRF Staff Attorney Elizabeth Cavell requested that staff at F.D. Roosevelt High School in Staatsburg, N.Y., stop their participation in the student prayer group, Cornerstone, on constitutional grounds. Cavell also referenced the Equal Access Act (EAA), which prohibits teachers from participating in non-curricular student activities.
"We ask that teachers throughout the District be reminded of their constitutional duty to remain neutral toward religion, a duty that does not simply begin and end with the school day,‚ÄĚ wrote Cavell.
The school‚Äôs legal counsel responded on Dec. 3, notifying FFRF that the district has followed up with necessary actions:
‚ÄúThe District understands and appreciates its constitutional and statutory obligations to students in this regard and, to that end, has reminded those teachers who were approached by Cornerstone to remain neutral towards religion and to refrain from participating in the substantive affairs of religious clubs. The District has also instructed those teachers to refrain from any participation or activity that may be perceived as an endorsement of the club‚Äôs religious message.‚ÄĚ