Mom banned from campus for praying out loud

Thursday, August 1, 2013
 | 
Bob Kellogg (OneNewsNow.com)

An atheist group has succeeded in getting a school to ban from their property a mom who, concerned for the safety of her children and other students, has been praying for them.

In light of last year’s Sandy Hook Elementary massacre and the discovery of bullets in the bathroom of her children's school, Lizarda Urena of Concord, New Hampshire, began praying aloud on the steps of Concord High School each morning. Matt Sharp of Alliance Defending Freedom explains how Urena initiated her vigils in February.

Sharp, Matt (ADF)“She actually contacted the principal just to say [she would] like to start praying for the students before school begins, not disrupting or interfering with the school work or anything like that – and the principal saw no problem with it,” says the attorney. “And that’s exactly the right way she should have approached it: get permission to do so.”

The Freedom From Religion Foundation objected, stating in a letter: “It is the duty of the secular public school system to protect vulnerable children, not to expose them to pressure and prayers. The exercise of religion must be left to the individual and religious education left to the family.”

After receiving FFRF’s letter, school officials decided Urena’s praying will no longer be allowed when the new school year begins – and the president of the school board supports that move, saying “the best mode of action was to tell her to cool it.” But Sharp says they legally cannot do that.

“My understanding here is that the school had a visitor’s policy that anyone can come on campus and sign in, let the school know, and be able to go on campus,” he explains. “So as long as she’s following that, the school has to treat her speech neutrally and cannot specifically target her because she’s engaging in religious speech.”

Urena has stated she will continue praying at home or a nearby gas station for the students’ safety. In the meantime, Alliance Defending Freedom is investigating the situation and has reached out to the mother to see if they can help.

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details

SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWSBRIEF

SUBSCRIBE

VOTE IN OUR POLL

Evangelical Hispanics will be the deciding factor in determining who the next president is – agree or disagree?

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

  Rowdy protests but no violence this time outside Trump rally
  Elizabeth Warren emerges as potent Clinton ally, Trump foil
  Church slaying families accept pursuit of death penalty
  United Auto Workers union endorses Hillary
  3rd person charged in investigation of coal exec's death
South Carolina Gov. signs 20-week abortion ban
State Dept. audit faults Clinton in emails
Wisconsin company sued over break policy for Muslim workers

LATEST FROM THE WEB

Republicans seize on St. Dept.'s audit to challenge Clinton's repeated claims on emails
Glenn Beck guest: 'What patriot' will remove Trump from office?
US Senate approves $800M fund to compensate Pakistan for war
This new religion is causing an existential crisis at American colleges, universities, NYU prof says
A response to my conservative #NeverTrump friends

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day
NEXT STORY
Voucher program benefiting minority students; Obama, Holder want it shut down

The Department of Justice is being accused of blocking educational opportunities for minority students in Louisiana all for the sake of preserving the power of the “educational establishment.”