In response to a Freedom From Religion Foundation complaint, an Alabama school district will have its staff undergo training to reacquaint them with constitutional principles.
FFRF initially contacted the district last month after a parent at Hayden Primary School informed it that a second-grade teacher there asks the "class leader" of the day to lead a prayer when the class lines up for lunch.
"Public school teachers may not lead their students in prayer, encourage students to pray, participate in student-initiated prayer or otherwise endorse religion to students," FFRF Legal Fellow Ryan Jayne wrote to Blount County Schools Superintendent Rodney Green. "The Supreme Court has continually struck down teacher- or school-sponsored prayer in public schools."
FFRF added that the district has a duty to regulate religious proselytizing during school-sponsored activities.
The school district proved to be very responsive to FFRF's concerns.
"We have every reason to believe that our teachers in the Blount County System understand what the law requires," the school district's legal counsel replied. "However, Superintendent Green advises he and his staff will conduct Professional Development with Blount County teachers in January 2017 on Board policy and the Establishment Clause."
FFRF is always pleased to be of service.
"There's 65 years of firm Supreme Court precedent preventing such behavior," says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. "Holding a training session is a sign that Blount County Schools takes its constitutional obligations seriously."
Last year, FFRF settled a federal lawsuit in Georgia over school prayer abuses in an elementary school there.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a state/church watchdog organization with almost 25,000 members and affiliates nationwide, including a long-lasting chapter, the Alabama Freethought Association.