Friday, March 19, 2010

Student Complaint Stops Illegal School Prayers

An unidentified student at Alexandria High School in rural Alabama complained to the system superintendent about the photocopied bible verses posted around campus, the weekly in-school bible study and the daily prayers broadcast over the school's intercom.

"Every day in the morning we would have student-led prayer over the PA system and I looked this up. It's illegal," the student said. "It wasn’t just me; there were a bunch of other students who wanted it stopped."
Secure in their knowledge, the student left a voicemail for Calhoun County Schools Superintendent Judy Stiefel and contacted ACLU by email, plus he sent them a handwritten letter.

Allison Neal of the state's American Civil Liberties Union said these types of issues are pretty common in her jurisdiction, but they generally don't require legal action and to her credit, Superintendent Stiefel put a stop to the prayers after hearing from the student, before she was contacted by the activist group.

Though interviewed by the Anniston Star, the complaining student asked not to be identified for fear of reprisal.
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