The ACLU continues to try to shut down religious expression in local schools. Its latest target? Bloomfield Hills School District, where students led prayer after football games. The ACLU alleged that the football coach was leading the prayers himself, but when the school district investigated, they found that the prayers were completely student led.
While the school district has verbally agreed to continue to allow students to lead prayer at football games, they have not changed the policy which bans "prayer or references of any religious nature. . . at school-sponsored events such as banquets, commencement, assemblies, and programs." On July 12, Alliance Defending Freedom wrote a letter to the Bloomfield Hills Schools, reminding them that students have the right to participate in voluntary, student led prayer at football games and other school events. By not changing their official policy to clarify students' rights, Bloomfield Hills Schools have allowed the ACLU to dictate policies that limit students' ability to live out their faith.
Courts have put some limits on teachers and administrators leading prayers in school, but they have also almost universally protected students' rights to speak up about their faith. At Alliance Defending Freedom, we work to ensure that all students rights are protected, whether that's helping a student get credit for volunteering at church programs aimed to help children, or assisting students seeking approval for their Christian club on campus. Courts have consistently held that students can engage in non-disruptive speech—including religious speech like prayers—in school and at school events. Schools like the Bloomfield Hills Schools need to change their policies which unconstitutionally restrict students of faith and allow students to speak freely about their faith at school.
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