Louisiana School District Apologizes for Veterans Day Assembly That Included Christian Prayer November 21, 2014

Louisiana School District Apologizes for Veterans Day Assembly That Included Christian Prayer

A couple of days ago, I posted about a Veterans Day assembly that took place at Morgan City High School in Louisiana. It began with a Christian prayer — and students were told to stand up and bow their heads. The American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center wanted assurances it would never happen again:

It didn’t take long for the district to admit the prayer never should have happened. In a statement released by the superintendent and a district attorney, they said the blatant Christianity was “not consistent with district policy”:

St. Mary Parish Schools Superintendent Dr. Donald Aguillard, in collaboration with board attorney, Eric Duplantis, carefully reviewed the recent student complaint concerning a moment of reflection at Morgan City High School’s Veterans Day Ceremony. The program has endured as a quintessential element of the school’s legacy for over 20 years. The Historical Society at MCHS plans and carries out the community celebration of honor for local veterans to recognize and show appreciation for the sacrifices made by both veterans and their families. Dr. Aguillard wants to ensure that nothing detracts from this poignant ceremony while continuing adherence to laws governing school prayer. Accordingly, Mr. Duplantis has determined that the introductory prayer by an invited veteran during the opening of the program was not consistent with district policy. The district will provide guidance to school principals to preserve compliance to the law while protecting the Constitutional rights of all of our students.

Great! Problem solved.

By the way, if that superintendent’s name sounds familiar, it’s because Donald Aguillard was the former Biology teacher who challenged Louisiana law requiring that Creationism be taught in the classroom. In 1987, the Supreme Court struck down that law in Edwards v. Aguillard.

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

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