In March, a Florida family released a Youtube video stating that their 5-year old daughter had been reprimanded for praying over her lunch in the school cafeteria. After the alleged incident, the Perez family partnered with the Liberty Institute to push back against what Marcos Perez described as “religious discrimination.” However, Christianity Today reports that an investigation into the episode has shown no evidence that it ever happened. "There's no proof whatsoever," district spokesman Mike Lawrence shared with the Orlando Sentinal. Although the name of the teacher young Gabriella identified as chiding her for praying has not been released publicly, the investigation done by the school has shown "there is no way possible that person was anywhere near the lunchroom," during the time Gabriella was eating lunch that day.
Since the initial release of the incriminating video, Carillon Elementary School has received harassing phone calls. Lawrence cites Gabriella’s young age as a major factor in what he believes to be a “miscommunication” between the Perez family and the school.
Debbie Holloway is a storyteller, creator, critic and advocate having adventures in Brooklyn, New York.