Baton Rouge, LA—On Tuesday, the Louisiana House Committee on Education will hear two bills which would allow teachers and students to pray together in public schools.
To be clear, students can already engage in voluntary, nondisruptive prayer in school. However, these bills go a step further and would allow teachers to improperly join the students and even lead prayers.This law would be unconstitutional and would violate the rights of students to be free from coercive religious activity in public school.
Each of these bills already passed the Louisiana Senate unanimously, and if they pass the Committee on Education, they are likely to become law. It is essential that we speak out against them now.
Instead of spending their time addressing the real challenges facing the people of Louisiana, lawmakers are pandering to their Christian base by pushing forward bills they know will be struck down as unconstitutional. In the process, however, they will waste millions of dollars in taxpayer money to defend the indefensible.
The Supreme Court and lower courts have repeatedly made clear that allowing public school teachers to engage in prayer with students is a violation of the First Amendment.
We need to stop these bills at the committee level. Help us stand up for the rights of all students.
Please contact the Louisiana Committee on Education now and tell them you oppose SB 253 and SB 512!