Court orders Louisiana school to end religious discrimination against non-Christian students

After a Buddhist student in Louisiana was ridiculed and harassed by his teacher for failing to embrace the Christian faith, a U.S. District Court has ruled the teacher’s behavior, and the school board’s decision to defend it, constituted a clear violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

The outrageous abuse of a Buddhist sixth-grader enrolled in Negreet High School was just the tip of the iceberg of a pattern and culture of religious discrimination and harassment against non-Christian students and their families in the public schools of Sabine Parish, Louisiana.

Under the court order, the school board must end official prayers during class and school events, refrain from disparaging any particular faith, and prohibit staff from teaching creationism and other biblical doctrine as fact.

According to reports, teachers at Negreet High School in Sabine Parish, Louisiana, previously preached Creationism, mocked the theory of evolution, routinely led their students in Christian prayer, gave extra credit for Christian responses to assignments, and actively questioned or derided the religious beliefs of non-Christian students and parents.

To ensure that the order is carried out properly and that the constitutional violations do not recur, the board will also conduct in-service training for staff on First Amendment issues and the effects of religious discrimination on students.

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