Americans United for Separation of Church and State today contacted officials at Bossier Parish schools to urge them to stop violating the Constitution through the widespread promotion and endorsement of Christianity throughout the school district.
Americans United informed a Louisiana school district that prayers delivered by students at a high school graduation ceremony this past May violated the U.S. Constitution.
AU received a complaint from a concerned person that Benton High School, which is part of Bossier Parish Schools near Shreveport, allowed students to deliver prayers to begin and end the May 20 graduation ceremony.
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry told a Religious Right group that he will fight to bring back prayer in public schools.
“With your prayers, and an offense, we will get prayer back in public schools,” Landry said at a Sept. 21 event sponsored by the Louisiana Family Forum. “I just want you to know that we are winning, and we will get God back into this country.”
As Americans United has noted many times, students in public schools have the right to engage in voluntary prayer but cannot be compelled to take part in religious exercises.
Jeff Landry, the attorney general of Louisiana, told a Religious Right group recently that he plans to work to bring prayer back to public schools.
“With your prayers, and an offense, we will get prayer back in public schools,” Landry told attendees of an event sponsored by the Louisiana Family Forum last month.
Politicians like to lament the supposed lack of prayer in schools and blame society’s ills on this purported void.
The Department of Education just released a new study of the Washington, D.C., school voucher program. And the findings confirm what we’ve known for years: The program doesn’t improve students’ academic achievement. In fact, it has resulted in statistically significant negative impacts on student test scores.
The New York Times recently ran a story about researchers being surprised by the “dismal” results school voucher programs have so far produced.
As The Times notes, “[A] wave of new research has emerged suggesting that private school vouchers may harm students who receive them. The results are startling – the worst in the history of the field, researchers say.”
Maryland recently became the latest state to adopt a school voucher program that will benefit mostly religious schools. The state will spend $5 million on the program, which is aimed at low-income students in Baltimore.
The Washington Post is ecstatic. The newspaper, which constantly promotes vouchers on its editorial page, recently published an editorial that reads like a string of talking points from the Cato Institute.