Student, With AU Assist, Ends Public-School Employee Prayers with Band and Football Team - Statesboro, GA

A high-school student complained of several instances of school employees either encouraging students to pray or participating in prayer with students, particularly in the band and football programs. AU wrote to the school, explaining that such actions are unconstitutional and asking the school to put a stop to them. The school initially denied that faculty initiated or participated in prayers, but we then learned that the band prayers had stopped.

Town’s Signs Welcome Back the Constitution at AU’s Urging - Barrackville, WV

The sign in front of the Barrackville municipal building often featured religious content, including things like “Welcome to Barrackville, Jesus Welcomes You Back” and “Need Extra Money, Try Tithing . . . It Works!” In a letter to the town, AU explained that promotion of Christianity on the town’s signage was unconstitutional. Though we received no formal response, our complainant tells us that the religious messages have stopped.

Board of Education Replaces Prayer with Moment of Silence - Oklahoma City, OK

The Oklahoma City Public Schools’ Board of Education regularly began its meetings with a prayer. AU wrote to the Board to inform it that it is unconstitutional for school boards to include prayer at their proceedings and to ask the Board to stop. The Board agreed to replace the prayer with a moment of silence.

Board of Education Replaces Prayer with Moment of Silence - Oklahoma City, OK

The Oklahoma City Public Schools’ Board of Education regularly began its meetings with a prayer. AU wrote to the Board to inform it that it is unconstitutional for school boards to include prayer at their proceedings and to ask the Board to stop. The Board agreed to replace the prayer with a moment of silence.

College Football May Be A Religion, But No More Weekly Chapel for One Team - Fort Scott, KS

A coach for the Fort Scott Community College football team instituted and led a weekly team activity called Friday Night Devotionals—a thirty-minute Christian religious worship program. AU received complaints about the program and wrote a letter of objection to the college. The college responded and agreed to stop the devotional program.

With AU’s Help, School Discovers it Can Launch Rowboats Without an Unconstitutional Prayer - South Bristol, ME

The South Bristol School has an annual project where students construct rowboats and then launch them during a ceremony at the end of the year. AU received complaints that the launching ceremony included a pastor, invited by the school, who delivered a prayer. After our letter of complaint, the school responded and agreed that future school-sponsored events will not feature prayer or religious activity. The school subsequently wrote to us and proposed keeping the prayer in the ceremony, but calling the event a “community event” and closing school while it took place.

City No Longer Displays Cross, Nativity on its Property After AU Advocacy - Grand Haven, MI

The City of Grand Haven displayed a 48-foot-tall cross on a hill that is public property. The city mechanically raised the cross for Sunday church services, Easter services, and a Christmas nativity display also erected on the hill. Over the course of two years, AU wrote several times to the City to protest these displays. City officials attempted to defend their practice by insisting that other symbols could be displayed on the cross’s lift mechanism.

AU Stops Public-School Religious Graduation Ceremony at Church - Marietta, GA

An elementary school held its 2012 graduation ceremony at the Destiny Metropolitan Worship Church. The ceremony featured an extended sermon by the pastor that invoked the Bible and informed students about God’s plan for their lives. AU wrote to the school and explained that public schools may not hold graduation ceremonies in a church and may not invite pastors to deliver religious messages at graduation. The school agreed to discontinue both practices.

School Removes Prayers from Annual Senior Lunch After AU’s Letter - Midland, MI

Bullock Creek High School holds an annual senior-lunch event for graduating students in the top 10% of the class. AU learned that this event had, in previous years, included a prayer delivered by the Superintendent, the Principal, or a student selected by a school administrator. AU wrote a letter of complaint and, in response, the school agreed that future senior-lunch events and other school events would be free of prayers or other religious content.

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