Webster Parish Schools Sued For Violating Students Rights
The ACLU of Louisiana has filed suit against the Webster Parish School Board, Superintendent Johnny Rowland, and Lakeside Junior/Senior High School Principal Denny Finley. They are all accused of unlawful practices involving religious promotion, religious endorsement, and violating other religious protections of the First Amendment.
Heather L. Weaver, Senior Staff Attorney for the ACLU, issued a statement today on behalf of Lakeshore parent Christy Cole. According to the statement, Cole is a Christian, who raised her children under the biblical teachings that praying in public is a sin. Cole's daughter K.C. attends Lakeside, and last year K.C.'s father approached Rowland, who was then the school's Principal. According to the statement, Rowland told the father that the school will stop their unlawful behavior "...when someone makes me stop."
Weaver's statement goes into details on the allegations against the school. The contain the following notes:
"School officials are imposing religion at every turn, even though the law has been clear for decades that promotion of religion by public schools is illegal and violates students’ rights under the First Amendment. Nearly every Lakeside school event features an official prayer. Graduation services are held in churches and often resemble religious services.