Gwen Pope, a math teacher at Fayette High School in Fayette, Mo., reportedly led Christian devotional prayers in her classroom every Friday morning, which is illegal in public schools, unless it is student-led or after normal school hours.
The prayers sessions were announced over the loudspeaker, encouraging students to attend. Pope's husband would also attend.
Pope allegedly told her math students that “God will punish them if they are not good” and had religious literature on her desk.
Back in May, the American Humanist Association (AHA) sent the Western District of Missouri a warning letter, which was apparently ignored, so the AHA filed a lawsuit against the school district last week, reports Patheos.com.
However, Fox News did a spin on the story, casting the Christian teacher as the "victim" of mean atheists.
FoxNews.com started with this headline: "American Humanist Association sues teacher who prayed for sick student."
In the article, Fox News' Todd Starnes mocked the apparent violation of church and state by Pope:
This over-the-top attack on Christianity is just unbelievable. Then again, what do you expect from a bunch of humanists who don’t believe in anything that really matters?
They alleged that Mrs. Pope and the students were seen reading Bible verses and (again, brace yourself) praying for the ill.
“When a student was sick or injured, Pope frequently asked the students in attendance to pray for the afflicted student and joined the attending students in prayer by bowing her head, closing her eyes and saying amen,” the lawsuit alleged.
Mrs. Pope allegedly encouraged the students to pray for the young man. The lawsuit describes in great detail the aftermath of that request.
“She then bowed her head and closed her eyes,” the lawsuit states. “At the end of the prayer, Pope joined the students in saying aloud, ‘Amen.’”
Can you believe a public school would tolerate such diabolical behavior?
However, in reality, the AHA wants a court to end teacher-led praying during school hours.
The Western District of Missouri has said it would "vigorously defend against any claim that the district has taken actions which violate any person's First Amendment rights."
Sources: Patheos.com and FoxNews.com