Jackson Public School District Agrees to Halt Convocation Prayers

The Mississippi Link Newswire

In response to the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center’s letter sent on Aug. 25, 2014, the Jackson Public School District in Jackson, Mississippi, has agreed to eliminate religious activity, including prayers and sermons, at future convocations for its faculty.

“We’re very pleased that the school district has promptly responded to this issue and has made assurances that future school-sponsored assemblies will comply with the Establishment Clause,” said Monica Miller, an attorney with the Appignani Humanist Legal Center.

Earlier this week, the Appignani Humanist Legal Center sent a letter to the school district on behalf of a concerned teacher, who reported that a Christian reverend included prayers, a liturgical call and response, and biblical references in his remarks. Other speakers at the event also included religious language in their speeches and specifically invoked Scripture, “God” and the “Lord.” In a letter sent yesterday, representatives from the district state that such religious activity will not be included in future convocations.

EDUCATION Humanist Group Decries Prayers at Public School Teacher Event 1“By upholding the separation of church and state, the school district is respecting the rights of teachers of minority faiths, as well as the rights of teachers who do not profess any faith,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association.

A copy of the letter sent to the school district can be viewed here, and a copy of the school district’s response can be viewed here.