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Mississippi School District Fined $7500 for Opening Assembly with Prayer

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posted on Aug, 2 2015 @ 03:20 AM
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Allowing a school assembly honoring high-achievers to open with a prayer made one Mississippi school district $7,500 poorer - and a student who sued $2,500 richer.

The Rankin, Miss., public school district was hit with the fine after U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves said it defied his prior order barring prayers school events. According to the judge, the prayer violated a 2013 court settlement that ordered the district to stop "proselytizing Christianity." The alleged violation, which came at an assembly last year for students who scored above 22 on their ACT college admissions test, prompted the judge to apply fines for that and another incident, in which Gideons International was permitted to hand out Bibles to elementary school students.


Interesting. I'm not sure suing was necessary. Though I guess if it helps get the point across. It seems this school is a repeat offender.



“From the accounts detailed in the record, it appears that incorporating religious script and prayers with school activities has been a long-standing tradition of the district,” the judge argued.

In a statement issued by an attorney, Rankin County Superintendent Lynn Weathersby said that despite the court's ruling, students and teachers will continue to pray. However, district staff will have to adjust in order to comply with the ruling.


Mississippi School District Fined $7500

When I was in junior high, a youth minister from a baptist church would come and sit near the doors of the lunch room. He was a cool guy, and would throw you some candy or some other thing. During lunch he ran a youth group in one of the unoccupied rooms. Fun games and a short lesson which ended in prayer.

As far as I know, nobody had a problem with him. The school obviously knew he was there and was aware of what he was doing. Since he was not actually staff or anything no laws were violated (as far as I know). He was never in your face about Jesus when trying to get you to come so the only real proselytizing came during the group, if you volunteered to go.

Maybe this school can do something like that where they can pray, or read scripture. I understand how it may be difficult for the people of strong faith there to keep it out of the schools. If I'm not mistaken, the majority are Christians in that state.

What does ATS think about this case?

Is there any conceivable way those of faith in this school can find a way to pray and read scripture together without violating any laws?

Or should faith be kept out of public school entirely?


edit on 8-2-2015 by WakeUpBeer because: added source link




posted on Aug, 2 2015 @ 03:23 AM
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a reply to: WakeUpBeer

Education without a scientific background shouldnt be taught, implies also traditions, teach at home.



posted on Aug, 2 2015 @ 03:50 AM
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School is about education.. church is for worship... the judge already told them before hand.. they defied it.. what is the news here? .. law says don't .. they do.. they broke the order.. BIG surprise... ..

I don't see the issue here anyway.. religion is not something for schools.. you can use your place of worship for that... it doesn't belong in schools or government..



posted on Aug, 2 2015 @ 04:13 AM
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a reply to: WakeUpBeer
The school defied a court order. It does not matter whether you agree with what they did or not. Stick two fingers up at the law and you reap the consequences.

Religion should not be in schools it should be in churches.



posted on Aug, 2 2015 @ 04:26 AM
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Just want to echo what's been said but add that while fining any school (district or whatever) is never good, those who made this decision to break that law are the ones responsible here.

If they want to make a religious protest and use their kids and school to do it, perhaps they should not be in the job they are in?

Forget the fines for a minute, they really should be removing from position any person who decides that their religious delusion is more important than the kids they are supposed to be educating. It's incredibly selfish, and it's incredibly irresponsible, they should be fired for that.



posted on Aug, 2 2015 @ 04:56 AM
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Actually, the fine is just silly.

Money goes from one Govt pocket to another one.

Should have fined the Principal or whomever violated the court order. Then you can be sure, it would not happen again.

P



posted on Aug, 2 2015 @ 07:06 AM
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Does anyone really think these kids have any frickin clue what in the hell they are even talking about? They are reading a script, and parroting what has been programmed into their head.

"We are an army. Christ is our commander. His will is our charge."
"People who do not love our god, have stolen our country."

Religion does NOT belong in school.

edit on 8/2/2015 by Klassified because: correction



posted on Aug, 2 2015 @ 07:12 AM
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originally posted by: Klassified
Does anyone really think these kids have any frickin clue what in the hell they are even talking about? They are reading a script, and parroting what has been programmed into their head.

"We are an army. Christ is our commander. His will is our charge."
"People who do not love our god, have stolen our country."

Religion does NOT belong in school.


A perfect example of the kind of growing Christian extremism posing a direct threat to America. Whether the right-wing like it or not, there are plenty of extremists of all faiths, the only difference between radical Islam and radical Christianity is that those with the power to do it haven't "weaponized" their deluded followers yet.

That threat is increasing as society becomes more equality-driven and less willing to simply accept theocratic governance. As equality spreads, and the power of the religious in America continues to decline, the lengths they will go to in order to force their views onto the society around them will become more radical.



posted on Aug, 2 2015 @ 07:32 AM
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a reply to: Klassified

You can tell it is all scripted in the way they get four or five of them to say a sentence.
You can see the persecution complex starts early.



posted on Aug, 2 2015 @ 07:37 AM
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a reply to: WakeUpBeer

Good, I would have thrown the book at them. What book? The Bible!



posted on Aug, 2 2015 @ 07:39 AM
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I'm cool with no prayer at schools, I'm still a little bent over no pledge of allegiance but wonders when they'll actually focus on something important like fixing or replacing outdated and grossly inadequate curriculums?


You know, The really important stuff, like educating the kiddies....



posted on Aug, 2 2015 @ 07:47 AM
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Yah, just worship the flag.

They're going to need that zeal later when the government starts more wars.

Instead of being taught not to kill, kids are being led to war.



posted on Aug, 2 2015 @ 08:15 AM
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a reply to: WakeUpBeer


When I was in junior high, a youth minister from a baptist church would come and sit near the doors of the lunch room. He was a cool guy, and would throw you some candy or some other thing. During lunch he ran a youth group in one of the unoccupied rooms. Fun games and a short lesson which ended in prayer.

This would be an issue now. Though I'm sure it still happens. As long as no one reports it...


Maybe this school can do something like that where they can pray, or read scripture. I understand how it may be difficult for the people of strong faith there to keep it out of the schools. If I'm not mistaken, the majority are Christians in that state.

The school can allocate a room where religious students can meet, but cannot be involved in any way.


Is there any conceivable way those of faith in this school can find a way to pray and read scripture together without violating any laws?

They can. Neither the school, nor the state can stop them. The constitution guarantees them that right. They can bring their bibles to school, and pray all they want, but the moment the school itself gets involved in any way, it becomes unconstitutional. Neither teachers nor staff can lead, or be involved in prayer. Especially in an assembly of staff and students.


Or should faith be kept out of public school entirely?

No. And it shouldn't be on a personal level. But yes, it should be kept out of the classroom. There is no place for religion in secular(public) education.



edit on 8/2/2015 by Klassified because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 2 2015 @ 08:15 AM
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originally posted by: SLAYER69
I'm cool with no prayer at schools, I'm still a little bent over no pledge of allegiance but wonders when they'll actually focus on something important like fixing or replacing outdated and grossly inadequate curriculums?


I really don't understand the need for the pledge of allegiance. Listen to what it's actually called... do you need to have your own kids pledging allegiance to the country they were born in, the country they live in? It reeks of nationalist propaganda and conditioning.

And if they refuse to, because they prefer to think for themselves and not behave like brainless drones, they're deemed to be "unpatriotic".

I remember when I was an opinionated young teen refusing to say prayers and sing Christian songs in assembly. That was back in the 80's. If we'd had a British version of that mindless and pointless nationalism I would have refused to do that too.



posted on Aug, 2 2015 @ 09:04 AM
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a reply to: intrptr



Instead of being taught not to kill, kids are being led to war.


That's assuming that there are no verses commanding people to kill in religious scriptures which is false. That's also assuming that anyone who doesn't believe in religious scriptures therefore believes in wars/killing, another false assumption.

Even an atheist can be a pacifist and there have been many religious people throughout history using religious scriptures to promote war.



posted on Aug, 2 2015 @ 09:54 AM
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originally posted by: WakeUpBeer
Is there any conceivable way those of faith in this school can find a way to pray and read scripture together without violating any laws?


The students can have a group if THEY want. As long as the staff of the school isn't involved, AND they allow any sort of religious gathering or "club", there's no legal problem. I mean, they had a Christian pastor come into the school for this prayer. The school head clearly has an agenda...

Or they could meet after school at someone's home or at church.

I'm a little surprised and pleased that this outcome happened in Mississippi.



posted on Aug, 2 2015 @ 10:24 AM
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I agree with the commentator who said she's surprised they even allowed for an assembly honoring students who scored higher than the rest.

Poor underachievers, that must've been horribly offensive.



posted on Aug, 2 2015 @ 10:43 AM
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originally posted by: Benevolent Heretic

I'm a little surprised and pleased that this outcome happened in Mississippi.


Why are you pleased? Do you really think removing prayer from our schools is going to change anything?



posted on Aug, 2 2015 @ 10:45 AM
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a reply to: WakeUpBeer

Answer; Faith should be left out of the public school system entirely!

I applaud the judge's ruling, especially seeing how they're repeat offenders.



posted on Aug, 2 2015 @ 10:49 AM
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They need to just secede and get it over with. The whole south should secede so they can have their theocracy and third world lifestyle.




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