ICC Note: As previously reported, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) recently issued a letter of complaint to a Louisiana school board in reference to boxes for prayer requests on campus and the fact that the principal used the phrase “God bless you” on a school website. On Thursday, October 1, the school board officially rejected the ACLU’s demands and issued a resolution to protect the religious freedoms of the students. Shortly after, hundreds gathered for a rally to pray and show their support for the school board’s decision.
By Heather Clark
10/06/2015 United States (Christian News Network) – A school board in Louisiana has rejected the demands of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to not allow students to place prayer request boxes on campus and that its principal stop mentioning God on the school website.
As previously reported, the organization sent a letter last month to the superintendent of the Bossier Parish School System to complain about the activities at Airline High School. It asserted that the prayer boxes, which were allegedly placed by the student-led Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and Principal Jason Rowland’s use of the phrase “God bless you all” on the school website, are illegal.
“This letter is to inform you that these practices violate the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and comparable provisions of the Louisiana Constitution, and they must stop immediately,” the correspondence read.
“The United States Constitution requires public schools to ensure that state-supported activity is not used for religious indoctrination,” it continued. “When school staff crosses the constitutional line, … the courts have declared these activities unlawful. There is no question that the principal has violated these legal mandates by invoking God, prayer, and Christianity in school publications and on school grounds.”
The ACLU then demanded the removal of the prayer boxes and asked that Rowland be instructed not to reference religion in any school communications.
On October 1st, the Bossier School Board issued a statement rejecting the ACLU’s assertions.
“The board’s counsel has investigated the allegations raised by the ACLU and found them to be without a factual or legal basis,” it wrote.