Mandatory assembly prayer in Indiana ended (November 22, 2022)

A mandatory assembly containing a prayer will not occur again, thanks to FFRF.

On Nov. 11, students at Knox High School in Knox, Ind., were reportedly required to attend an assembly in which a pastor quoted scripture and led the audience in prayer toward the beginning and end of the assembly. The prayers were reportedly overtly religious and delivered in Jesus’ name, leading secular students and family members of the community to feel uncomfortable.

“It is well settled that public schools may not violate the First Amendment rights of students by showing favoritism toward or coercing belief or participation in religion,” FFRF Legal Fellow Sammi Lawrence wrote in a letter to Superintendent William Reichhart.”

The district responded to FFRF, writing, “After careful consideration, we will abandon the past practice and tradition of having a prayer and benediction as part of our Community Veteran’s Day Program at Knox High School.”

 

Freedom From Religion Foundation