Concord High School in Concord, N.H., recently banned a mother from performing public prayers against gun violence on the school’s front steps.
Lizarda Urena, a mother of two tenth grade students who attended Concord High School, had been praying to end gun violence on school grounds every morning. While just about everybody can get behind the message of less gun violence in schools, not everybody was happy with the prosthelytizing.
The school district received a letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation after a parent complained to the organization.
“It is well settled that public schools may not advance or promote religion, including religious exercise such as prayer, ” the letter reads. It goes on to cite a laundry list of court cases including Engel v. Vitale and Lee v. Weisman. Indeed, this is not an issue of opinion — the Supreme Court has been quite clear about this issue.
Students can pray all they want publicly or privately, but the school cannot endorse any religious belief or practice, which allegedly happened when the school principal gave Urena permission to prosthelytize.
Urena argued that she was not trying to prosthelytize.
"What I am doing here is for our peace and our love, because the Bible says love your neighbor as you love yourself, and when I'm here it symbolizes peace and love and care," Urena said.
While that may be true, praying and quoting scripture also represents Christianity, which is in itself a form of prosthelytizing.
Urena now plans to pray across the street from the school at the gas station, but it is unclear whether prayers will have any impact on gun violence from so far away.
Do you agree with Urena on this issue? Do you think that she should be able to pray on school steps in defiance of Supreme Court rulings?
Source: Christian Post