The students in a prayer circle thanked God for their food in their Wyoming high school cafeteria. The next thing they knew, their principal was scolding them for "forcing their religion" on others.
Principal Stanetta Twiford of Glendo High School said the students needed permission to pray. Later, the school argued that the cafeteria setting is a "captive audience" and that their peers were being forced to witness the religious activity.
A parent of one of the kids tried to appeal, but the principal still didn't back down. So the parents all reached out to Alliance Defending Freedom, which threatened legal action on the basis of religious discrimination.
"School cafeterias are not religion-free zones, and they certainly do not involve captive audiences," ADF said in a letter written to the district. "Students in the cafeteria are not captive audiences because they can leave at any time or turn away from the quiet prayer in the corner."
The ADF then gave an important reminder of the students' rights.
"No student should be prevented from engaging in private prayer alone or quietly with other students on campus," ADF Legal Counsel Jonathan Scruggs said. "The U.S. Supreme Court has weighed in on this specifically. The First Amendment protects the right to pray in a non-disruptive manner not just in private but in public, too."
The superintendent has now reversed the decision, citing an error in judgment.
"I feel our staff and district have a better understanding of students’ rights regarding prayer and how to handle future incidents and consider this incident closed," the school said in a written response.
Now, the students can thank God for their food without interruption. What a big win for the faithful community!
via Faith It