Oak Grove parent challenges teacher's prayer board

Oak Grove parent challenges teacher's prayer board

LAMAR COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - An Oak Grove Middle School teacher is under fire by a humanist group for a prayer request board in her eighth grade classroom.

Lamar County Superintendent Tess Smith confirmed Randi Rogers' classroom had a prayer board, which was taken down pending direction from the school board attorney.

A student took a picture of the board, and the student's parent contacted the American Humanist Association in Washington, D.C.

The AHA's Appignani Humanist Legal Center sent a letter to Smith, and the middle school principal and assistant principal, ordering the removal of the board.

The letter stated the prayer board is "correctly perceived as a constitutional violation," and the teacher displaying and not removing it violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

The letter also requests "written assurances" that no other places in the room will be designated for prayer requests nor will public school teachers use their classrooms to take prayer requests or "promote and endorse religion."

The AHA said if corrective steps are not taken by next Monday, it would take the matter to federal court.

Smith said the school district's attorney plans to reply to the AHA by Wednesday.

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