Preachers, church members rally for Oak Grove teacher

Preachers, church members rally for Oak Grove teacher

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - A dozen supporters held a peaceful rally across from Oak Grove Middle School Tuesday afternoon in honor of the teacher whose prayer request board was taken down from her classroom Monday.

The supporters held signs that read "Pray for Oak Grove" and "We support the prayer board and the teacher."

An Oak Grove teacher had students asking her for prayers, according to Lamar County Superintendent Tess Smith, so the teacher placed a board in the back of the classroom where students could write their names, if in need of prayer, without taking away from instructional time.

A student took a picture of the board, and the student's parent sent it to the American Humanist Association in Washington, D.C., who then submitted a letter to the school and district, which ordered the removal of the sign based on its alleged violation of the Constitution.

Smith said the board was taken down Monday, and she is waiting on the school board attorney to give her further direction. She said the school board does not meet until Tuesday, Sept. 8, so it is likely they will ask for a stay on the case until after that meeting.

The letter from AHA gave the district seven days from Sunday to respond.

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