More Information about Louisiana SB 253

SB 253 tries to give public school employees the ability to endorse religion to their students, but the Supreme Court has consistently held that this violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In other words, SB 253 is simply unconstitutional.

SB 253 is a direct reaction to a federal court case that will confirm this point. Earlier this year, Kaylee Cole filed a lawsuit against her Louisiana public school to object to school-sponsored prayers at her school. If SB 253 passes, it will fool teachers and coaches into thinking that they are allowed to participate in student prayers during the school day. They are not.

The Supreme Court has continually struck down school-sponsored prayer in public schools because it constitutes a government advancement and endorsement of religion, which violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. It is unconstitutional for public school employees to participate in the religious activities of their students. Federal courts have held that even a public school coach’s silent participation in student prayer circles is unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court has recognized that “[f]amilies entrust public schools with the education of their children, but condition their trust on the understanding that the classroom will not purposely be used to advance religious views that may conflict with the private beliefs of the student and his or her family.” Edwards v. Aguillard, 482 U.S. 578, 584 (1987).

Freedom From Religion Foundation