Kentwood (MI) substitute teacher won’t pray with students (January 9, 2019)

FFRF received an exemplary response from a school district in Kentwood after reporting a substitute teacher praying with students in Kentwood Public Schools.

A concerned Southwood Elementary School parent contacted FFRF after a substitute teacher led third-grade students in prayer in the classroom. The complainant reported that after the class recited the Pledge of Allegiance, he told the class “when I was in third grade, we prayed.” He then proceeded to pray aloud, with many of the students joining in.

FFRF Legal Fellow Colin McNamara wrote to Superintendent Michael Zoerhoff, outlining the constitutional issues being violated.

Zoerhoff thanked FFRF for bringing this matter to his attention, and directed the district’s human resources department to investigate the incident. The district notified the substitute’s employer, and has enacted a plan to ensure that this violation will not happen again.


Freedom From Religion Foundation