I Filed a Lawsuit Against My School District for Allowing Christian Prayers During Graduation, and It’s Finally Over

This is a guest post by Max Nielson. Max is a student at the College of Charleston.

In 2012, I filed a federal lawsuit against South Carolina’s Lexington/Richland School District 5, where I attended Irmo High School, because I wanted to do something to change the district-wide policy of holding Christian prayers during graduation ceremonies. (They let the majority-Christian senior class vote on the prayer, but the outcome was never in doubt.)

The lawsuit was amended to include the district practice of holding preacher-led prayers at board meetings after I recruited two younger District 5 students, Dakota McMillan and Jacob Zupan, to maintain legal standing after my graduation.



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Town of Jay (Florida) Sells Off Nativity Scene to Avoid Lawsuit

The town of Jay, Florida has had a Nativity scene in front of City Hall for the past 40 years, a clear promotion of Christianity by the local government. When the Freedom From Religion Foundation sent town officials a letter last week explaining this problem, they offered a possible solution — one they suggested to a neighboring town a couple of years ago:



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Despite Warning, Gideons Reps Illegally Hand Out Bibles at Georgia Elementary School

In September of 2012, representatives from Gideons International came to White Elementary School in Georgia during the school day and distributed bibles to students who wanted them. The principal even announced the distribution to students.

All of this is illegal and the Freedom From Religion Foundation said as much to Superintendent John F. Harper of the Bartow County School System, and he assured them it would never happen again. More importantly, he said:

… “any future practice will be reviewed carefully” and that “No principal, teacher or any other school official will encourage a student in Bartow County School System to accept a Gideon Bible in the future.”

You know why I’m bringing this up.

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New York Fire Department Wishes Jesus a Happy Birthday with Large Sign Out Front

Churches are welcome to openly celebrate Christmas. So are individual families, who can put up Nativity scenes in their yards.

But when the local fire department begins promoting the birth of Jesus — by putting up a sign out front that says “Happy Birthday Jesus” and “We Love You” as if they were children — they’ve clearly crossed the line. They might as well put up a sign that says “Jews Don’t Matter” since the implication is already there.



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PA School District Says Ten Commandments Monument at Junior High Isn’t Religious Because It Includes a Bald Eagle

This is a picture of Connellsville Junior High East in Pennsylvania… with a Ten Commandments monument right in front of it. It’s been there since the Fraternal Order of Eagles donated it in 1957:

A couple of years ago, Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the Freedom From Religion Foundation wrote letters to the district to have it taken down, and it resulted in the monument being boarded up with plans for it to be donated to a local church.

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