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La. board agrees teacher-led prayer was unconstitutional

By The Associated Press

HAMMOND, La. — The Tangipahoa Parish School Board has agreed to concede that a teacher-led graduation prayer given in 2007 was unconstitutional.

A board attorney said the school district agreed to the consent order last week.

U.S. District Judge Stanwood R. Duval Jr. in New Orleans had given the board until June 27 to decide whether to agree. Otherwise, the judge indicated he would be ready to rule in favor of an anonymous parent who sued with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Chris Moody, the board attorney, said the district would agree that a prayer given at the graduation in May 2007 by a teacher — rather than a student — violated the Constitution, as well as school board policy.

Graduation prayer lands La. district in hot water — again
'I'm not aware of any school district that's been sued this many times for religious freedom,' state ACLU head says after Tangipahoa Parish is hit with 6th suit in 13 years. 06.10.07


ACLU: Deal reached in student teacher's suit over school prayer

Cynthia Thompson sued Tangipahoa Parish School Board, Southeastern Louisiana University, saying she entered 'nightmare' of constant prayer, proselytizing in fourth-grade class. 10.04.06

Divided 5th Circuit vacates ruling on La. school-board prayer

Majority finds plaintiffs lack standing to challenge practice, sends case back to lower court with instructions to dismiss. 07.26.07

La. district's public schools ordered to stop Bible giveaways
Tangipahoa Parish school board says it will appeal federal district judge'summary judgment to 5th Circuit. 04.23.08

Fla. county schools ordered to stop promoting religion
Federal judge says Santa Rosa County school officials must end various practices, such as instilling religious beliefs in class. 01.14.09

La. school board revises policy on pre-meeting prayers
Attorney for Tangipahoa officials says changes aren't result of ACLU lawsuit challenging guidelines. 04.16.09

Federal judge hears suit over La. school-board prayer
ACLU asks court to strike down Tangipahoa Parish panel's invocation policy, but board argues practice is consistent with Supreme Court ruling. 05.22.09

La. school board again alters policy on pre-meeting prayers
Tangipahoa officials change word 'prayer' to 'invocation,' marking third time policy has been revised since ACLU filed federal lawsuit. 12.10.09

Graduation ceremonies

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