In Pensacola, Florida, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), has won a case that has been in the courts for several months now. The case was filed on behalf of two students at Pace High School.
The suit was filed against the Santa Rosa County School Board and named former Superintendent of Schools John Rogers and H. Frank Law, Pace High School principal, as defendants. The students claim that the school allowed religious prayer and promoted religion through the activities the school offered, such as offering prayer at school events. They believed this was a violation to their rights under the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment under the state’s constitution.
The federal judge presiding over this case agreed, and awarded the students a settlement of $1. The judge’s ruling stated that the school officials could not promote, endorse or participate in any type of prayer during or in conjunction with any activities for the school. They cannot provide any religious event planning, financing or organizing. They cannot host any school type event at a religious facility if there are other suitable options available. They also can no longer talk about their religious beliefs within the school’s classes.
The ACLU worked for two years to try to get a settlement from the school board, and filed suit when they could not reach one. The school must instruct district staff members of the new requirements.