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School board opts for invocation revocation (October 30, 2018)

A school district in California has ceased scheduling invocations before board meetings after receiving a letter of complaint from FFRF.

FFRF Associate Counsel Liz Cavell initially sent a letter to the Ceres Unified School District Board of Trustees last October after a community member reported that the Board of Trustees opens its regular meetings with prayer. The district’s attorney sent a response letter, declaring that the board disagreed with the conclusion of a federal district court in California that the legislative prayer analysis in Marsh v. Chambers and Town of Greece v. Galloway is inapplicable to prayer practices in public school board meetings.

FFRF sent a second letter to the district after FFRF’s Chino Valley victory against school board prayer came down from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court.

“Since the time of your letter, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has joined the 3rd and 6th Circuits in holding that a school board’s prayer practice violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment,” Cavell wrote.

FFRF received a response from the district stating that the board has decided to suspend placing an invocation on its agenda for meetings.