School Named After Promoter of Separation of Church and State Accused of Violating Separation of Church and State November 20, 2014

School Named After Promoter of Separation of Church and State Accused of Violating Separation of Church and State

It’s not just that an elementary school student was taught to say a prayer before eating lunch.

It’s that the school she went to was named after the guy who coined the idea of “separation of church and state” in the first place:

[Parent Stephanie] Morris said she was shocked and upset when her second-grade daughter came home from Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy’s grammar school in Forest City repeating a prayer she learned to say before lunchtime in class.

Thank you God for our food, the rain and sunny weather,

thank you God for our friends and that we are together.

Previously, the teacher in her daughter’s class had included pamphlets and brochures from a local church in hand-outs that were brought home, but Morris said she discarded those without bringing up her objections.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a letter to the charter school on Morris’ behalf and they finally took some action earlier this week, adopting a new policy (#7170) that explicitly forbids teacher-led, school-sponsored prayer.

[Morris] said she was surprised the prayer issue was not immediately addressed, given Thomas Jefferson’s prominent role in establishing barriers between religious and government functions.

“Are they not aware of the man whose name is on their building?,” she said.

Maybe they just need another reminder every now and then.

(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Brian for the link)


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