Like Oil and Water, the idea of prayer and school has not mixed well over the years. And now there’s an added element to the debate. Starting Sunday, a new law will let local school boards decide whether to allow student led “inspirational messages” in public schools.
Officials say the measure is nothing to worry about, but opponents are raising concerns that “inspirational messages” can mean prayer at school events. ACLU Spokesman Baylor Johnson says these messages would be a violation of the students’ constitutional right for religious freedom.
“Religious freedom would be being treated like a classroom contest that leaves some students possibly feeling ostracized or alienated for what they believe in or possibly even worse being force to participate in religious activities that go against their own families’ beliefs.”
The ACLU of Florida sent a letter to all school districts saying they would sue if any school implements the law. The Florida School Board Association has asked local school boards not to adopt the policy.