FFRF was able to ensure that guest speakers will no longer conduct public prayers at an Ohio middle school.
FFRF was informed by a concerned school district member that on Nov. 10, 2022, Wilson Middle School students attended a mandatory assembly in which a guest speaker instructed students and staff to bow their heads in prayer. The incident occurred at two separate assemblies to the 7th and 8th grade students.
“If guest speakers engage in inappropriate conduct at a school event, then school administrators must intervene,” FFRF Anne Nicol Gaylor Legal Fellow Sammi Lawrence wrote in a letter to Superintendent Mike Holbrook.
FFRF received a written response from Bricker and Eckler Attorneys at Law, representing the Hamilton City School District. The letter stated that administration had not pre-approved nor were they aware of the guest speaker’s plan. “In addition, the School District plans to review the events of Nov. 10 with district-wide building administration as part of regularly occurring professional development. This will include conveying administration’s expectation that guest speakers refrain from leading students in prayer at future school- sponsored events.”