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Proselytization ends on school’s social media (December 2023)

The East Central Independent School District in Texas accepted constitutional counseling from FFRF after the district promoted a student-led prayer on official social media. A community member reported to FFRF that on Sept. 28, the official district Facebook page shared a post that could be construed as the district promoting and encouraging prayer. The post linked to a video of a sectarian Christian prayer, including statements directly invoking East Central ISD, such as “Jesus designed this building right here. He handpicked all of these teachers, all of these administrators.” FFRF Legal Fellow Sammi Lawrence wrote to Superintendent Roland Toscano with FFRF’s concerns, and Toscano wrote an apologetic response back to FFRF, indicating that the district regretted the offense and had no intention of causing harm. In addition to the post being removed promptly, Toscano detailed future action to be taken to avoid similar situations. “In light of this incident, we will be conducting a comprehensive review of our social media governance and guidelines to ensure that such posts that promote prayers or any religious affiliations are not published in the future,” Toscano writes.