A first-grade teacher who prayed with her class before lunch every day has been told to stop due to a complaint from a parent and an atheist organization.
The unidentified teacher at Norwood Elementary School in Birmingham, Ala., led her class in prayers each day at lunchtime, according to a letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation to the school superintendent. The teacher also allegedly taught her students Bible verses and Christian songs.
“Public school teachers and administrators may not promote religion by leading students in prayer, encouraging students to pray, participating in student-initiated prayer, or otherwise endorsing religion to students,” attorney Christopher Line of the Freedom From Religion Foundation wrote to the Birmingham City Schools superintendent.
The same letter alleged the principal began meetings with prayer.
A Birmingham City Schools attorney wrote back this month, telling the Freedom From Religion Foundation that the teacher and principal were told to stop praying with students and faculty.
“It is our understanding that no further complaints have been received,” Birmingham City Schools attorney Ashaunti Parker wrote.
A teacher-parent conference also was held to “address the parent’s concern,” Parker said.
“The teacher was advised to refrain from conducting any religious instruction and teacher-led prayer,” Parker wrote.
Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com.
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