School Agrees to Limit Prayer, Religious Activity

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A Missouri high school has agreed to restrict its faculty's religious activities at school.

The decision came after the American Humanist Association filed a complaint against the Fayette School District in federal court on behalf of a student, the student's mother, and a school alumnus.

The complaint said the high school acted unconstitutionally by announcing a weekly prayer meeting over the intercom and allowing a Christian group to meet before school, but not other student groups.

Superintendent Tamara Kimball said in a statement that she and fellow defendants deny all of the allegations by the plaintiffs, except for the claim that Principal Darren Rapert announced the weekly prayer meetings over the school intercom.

She added that it was more fiscally responsible to reach the settlement and pay the fees than continue with the lawsuit.

However, the court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, and defendants in the case must pay $41,000 in legal fees to AHA and its lawyers.

The school will amend its 2014 Student Teacher Handbook to state when students groups can meet and how teachers can and cannot participate in student-led religious meetings.

The faculty is no longer allowed to participate in prayer or religious activity at student-led meetings. They are also not allowed to place any religious items where students might easily see them.

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