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Hamilton County School in Tennessee will remain neutral on religion (February 27, 2019)

Staff members at Soddy Daisy High School in Hamilton County will be reminded of their obligation to remain neutral on religious matters after FFRF brought a serious violation to the administration’s attention.

A district parent reported that a school staff member has been praying with students as part of high school ROTC events.

At one event, the district employee reportedly told students and parents that they didn’t have to participate if they didn’t want to, then proceeded to lead the students in prayer. At another event, he reportedly prayed with students, including the complainant’s child, before a competition.

FFRF Legal Fellow Chris Line wrote to the district’s attorney and urged the district to make certain that school programs do not include prayer and that none of its employees is unlawfully and inappropriately indoctrinating students in religious matters.

The attorney responded, confirming that the employee has been reminded of the First Amendment requirements and has been directed to cease praying with students. Additionally, the principal has committed to sending out correspondence reminding teachers and staff to “remind everyone of the constitutional issues at play.”