Alexandria High School in Alabama is a public school where the administrators are uneducated about the law. They thought it was okay for students to recite Christian prayers over the public address system.
It took a young man (who wishes to remain anonymous) to challenge the practice:
“Every day in the morning we would have student-led prayer over the PA system and I looked this up. It’s illegal,” the student said. “It wasn’t just me; there were a bunch of other students who wanted it stopped.”
He said he demanded it stop in a voicemail sent to Superintendent Judy Stiefel. He also contacted the American Civil Liberties Union by e-mail and by hand-written letter to complain about the issue.
The student requested he not be named in this story because he expected his classmates would not react well to his actions.
The student said he was motivated to take action because he didn’t think it was fair for the student body, which he described as overwhelmingly “fundamentally Christian” to subject all students to Christian prayers and Bible verses.
“What bothered me about it is that it’s illegal and I don’t want the school breaking the law like that,” the student said. “I want to stand up for fairness. I’m a person that embraces all religion and I love everyone.”
All it took was one complaint (and the full effect of people who know the law) to get this changed. Anyone could’ve done it. You have to wonder why no teacher made it happen (including the tenured ones).
The comments on the Anniston Star‘s website are scary. People think their religion is being trampled upon. Of course they’re wrong. Students can pray before school, after school, or even during school as long as they are not disruptive.
But other students should not be subject to their religious practices. Public school is not the place for kids to hijack an intercom so they can out-Jesufy the other Christians. It’s a practice that needs to be abandoned.
(Thanks to Brian for the link!)