Parent Complains After Prayer During PTO Meeting - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Parent Complains After Prayer During PTO Meeting

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by Aundrea Cline-Thomas

TULLAHOMA, Tenn. - Parent teacher organization meetings at North Lake Elementary don't start with an overview of the agenda, it starts with a prayer. Some may say freely exercising their religious rights.

"I don't think they should do it because everybody has their own views," a parent said.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is stepping in after a concerned parent contacted the national organization to complain.

"This school district may not realize the sixth circuit has specifically said that school board prayers are unconstitutional and a violation of the establishment clause," Foundation attorney Andrew Seidel said.

Franklin County administrators and school board members received a letter from the Foundation asking the district to "discontinue the practice of prayer before PTO meetings." It goes on to say, "Parents that do not share those beliefs are adversely affected by these prayers, which turn non-believers into political outsiders in their children's schools."

North Lake's principal and board members referred us to the Director of Schools who did not return numerous phone calls for comment. They haven't responded to the Foundation's letter either.

"We always prefer to work with school boards and entities to reach an amicable solution," Seidel said.

The foundation says a moment of silence would be a proper solution so believers and non-believers can individually call upon whomever they want or no one at all.


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