California District Faces Controversy Over Prayer In School Board Meetings

| by Tony Tran

The Chino Valley Unified School District is under fire after a lawsuit was filed against them for invocation policy.

The lawsuit comes from the Freedom From Religion Foundation -- an organization that fights for state secularism -- and finds that the school district is guilty of saying prayers before conducting school board meetings. 

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According to the Foundation's website, the meetings often "resemble a church service more than a school board meeting.”

The suit was originally brought up in November after the complaints of the four plaintiffs -- a student, two parents, and a district employee -- were brought to the Foundation's attention. 

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The Foundation claims that these plaintiffs “feel that the government is taking sides against them on religious questions,” and they view "the prayers, bible readings, and proselytizing as state-endorsed religion." 

Claiming that the praying is "unconstitutional under both the federal and state constitutions," they request that the court "permanently enjoin the board from any further school-sponsored religious exercises."

The school district is quick to point at a Supreme Court ruling in 2014 that ended in favor of a New York School District to open their meetings with prayers. 

The case has now been moved under the judgment of U.S. District Judge Jesus Bernal. 

Source: Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons