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Miss. Public School Fined For Violation Of Prayer Order

A federal court found the Rankin County, Miss., school district in contempt of court for refusing to obey an order prohibiting it from official endorsements of Christianity.

The school district previously lost a suit filed by a student over its practice of sponsoring religious school assemblies. At the time, it was ordered to immediately stop promoting religion. Six months later, the same student attended a school honors assembly where a local Metho­dist pastor delivered a prayer. The district also allowed the Gideons to hand out Bibles to students during the school day.  Read more

What’s OK And What’s Not OK: A School Prayer Primer

Yesterday was “See You at the Pole,” an annual event where public school students meet outside the building for a voluntary prayer session (often near a flagpole, hence the name – see this example) usually before the school day begins.

The Religious Right expects Americans United to get all worked up about this. We really don’t – as long as the event is voluntary and student-run and school officials aren’t sponsoring or promoting it. Read more

Buncombe’s Bible Battle: Time For Change At A N.C. Public School

Change can be difficult, but it’s often necessary. Just because you’ve been doing something for a long time doesn’t mean you should keep on doing it – especially if what you are doing isn’t legal.

Public education officials in Buncombe County, N.C., are learning this hard lesson right now. The community is ensnared in a flap over the role of religion in its schools. Officials are crafting new policies, and we hope they do the right thing. Read more