An assembly at Brandon High School in Rankin County, Mississippi started with an act of faith; A prayer and blessing from a local pastor. The non-mandatory assembly was set to honor the students who had scored higher than 22 on their ACT college admissions test. The simple act of faith would end up costing the school district a substantial amount of money.
According to this recent Fox News article, The Rankin county public school district was fined $7,500 for opening the assembly with a prayer. The presiding judge said that the act of faith violated a 2013 court settlement in which the school district was ordered to stop “proselytizing Christianity”.
The student who attended the non-mandatory assembly and sued the school district for exercising their 1st amendment right was also the same student who sued the school district in 2013.
Judge Carlton Reeves also ordered that the school district pay for the legal fees of the student who sued the district. Judge Reeves furthered his blatant persecution by acknowledging and discounting the long held beliefs of the school district, “From the accounts detailed in the record, it appears that incorporating religious script and prayers with school activities has been a long-standing tradition of the district”, the Judge said.
The school district refuses to back down to the intolerance of the non-religious and the judges that aid in the persecution. The district issued a statement saying that despite the court’s ruling, students and teachers will continue to pray.
It seems that people of faith are willing, able, and ready to stand and fight for their beliefs and their freedom to practice their religion. The constitution protects that right. It is the 1st of the amendments and it is the most important one.