Florida school district quashes religious expression

The Santa Rosa County School District has drafted a policy that prohibits students from asking God’s blessing during high school graduations.

The policy also prohibits district employees from participating in privately sponsored off-campus religious events or baccalaureate addresses.  Moreover, faculty and staff are required to stop prayer at privately sponsored after-school clubs.

The ACLU drafted the model policy, which was agreed to by the district and entered into the legal record by a federal court.

Mat Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel, said his group has filed a preliminary injunction to stop the order.  He said the policy violates the free speech rights of faculty, staff, students and members of the community. 

“Liberty Counsel intends to restore freedom and end the intimidation,” he said. “The constitutional violations wrought by the ACLU’s court order are the most outrageous I have seen. The court order directly conflicts with opinions from the United States Supreme Court. It is only a matter of time before the ACLU court order is set aside. Schools are not religious-free zones.”

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