Religion

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. 

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: FFRF.org Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons