Administrators Face Charges for School Prayer

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Two Christian teachers in Florida are facing jail time for allegedly breaking the law as they prayed at a school-related event.

Pace High School principal Frank Lay and athletic director Robert Freeman in Santa Rosa County led the prayer before a meal at a booster club meeting for adults, but a judge said the meeting violated a federal court order banning school officials from leading prayers at school events.

Mathew D. Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law spoke with CBN News about the First Amendment rights of the Christian teachers. Click play for his comments.

In 2008, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the Santa Rosa County School District. They claimed some of the teachers and administration "endorsed" religion in the classroom and school events. The school district did not fight the suit and consented to prohibiting prayer at school-sponsored events.

Now, the two men could be fined or even sent to jail for "criminal contempt."  The Liberty Counsel, a conservative religious rights group, is defending them.

Mathew D. Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, said it is a sad day in America when school officials are criminally prosecuted for a prayer over a meal.

"The Founders believed that religion and morality are the twin pillars of the Republic," Staver said. "Judeo-Christianity was taught in public schools, because such teaching was the foundation of liberty. George Washington said that whoever undermines the twin pillars of religion and morality cannot be called a 'Patriot.'"

Staver also said it is outrageous and an offense to the First Amendment to punish a school official for a simple prayer.

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