A 5-year-old girl who claimed that she was told not to pray during lunch at school identified the teacher that had stopped her, the Orlando-Sentinel reports.
Gabriella Perez garnered national attention when she appeared in a YouTube video accusing a worker at Carillon Elementary school in Oviedeo, Florida of stopping her from praying in the lunchroom. The video was taken by Perez’s parents, who withdrew the girl from the school immediately after hearing about the incident. The video eventually became popular, gaining the support of those pushing for religious freedom nation-wide.
Gabriella’s father Marcos Perez spoke with Fox News regarding the situation, explaining that his daughter felt conflicted both following the biblical values his family had taught her and the rules of the school that she was supposed to be following.
“We tried to reaffirm to her and let her know that according to our own family values and according to the biblical values we are raising our children in that she did nothing wrong,” Perez said.
Perez also wrote a letter expressing his concerns to the principal of the school, who responded, “Please know that students are permitted to pray during school. I will remind all staff members of this.”
Gabriella has been home schooled by her parents since the incident occurred.
Gabriella recently returned to her former school to identify the teacher from a line-up and to reenact the incident in the lunchroom for her attorney. The family is seeking an apology from the school, as well as a reinforced policy so that staffers understand children are allowed to play within the school. In response to Gabriella's return, the school has launched a full investigation.