Bossier school gets caught up in First Amendment fight
BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) - A Bossier Parish school is under fire for reportedly promoting prayer.
Now a local nonprofit is firing back.
The state ACLU chapter claims the Bossier City school violated the First Amendment by putting out prayer boxes. And KSLA News 12 is told that the principal is being accused of using phrases like "God bless you."
Coming to the school's defense is Freedom Guard, a public interest law firm that argues that the ACLU's claims are radical and have zero merit. In a 5-page letter, Freedom Guard offers free legal defense to Airline High, saying it will fight this battle for the school.
The nonprofit also says it plans to prove that the allegations being brought against Airline High are false. And Freedom Guard advises the school to keep the prayer boxes and don't change a thing.
The prayer boxes were placed by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, a student organization. The project was completely student-led, which the U.S. Constitution allows, said Mike Johnson, CEO of Freedom Guard.
In a statement issued Sept. 25, Bossier public school officials acknowledges they've received letters from both the ACLU and the Freedom Guard. The school district says its respects both the law and the religious beliefs of all its students and employees. And officials say they plan to discuss everything when the School Board meets in October.
Freedom Guard says this isn't the first time it's come to a Bossier Parish school's defense. About 10 years ago, the nonprofit stepped in when a school was taken to federal court because a Christmas Nativity scene was allowed on campus.
And in April in Caddo Parish, the ACLU alleged that the principal at Walnut Hill Elementary violated the First Amendment by including a Bible quote in a school newsletter. That prompted supporters to hold rallies and speak out on his behalf. In response to the ACLU, Caddo School District removed all mentions of religion from its websites.
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