On Oct. 15, a group of students at Glendo High School in eastern Wyoming did the unthinkable: The gathered in a circle in the school cafeteria and prayed for their meal.
According to the Daily Caller, this simple act, not uncommon at dinner tables across America, drew the ire of Principal Stanetta Twiford.
The praying students say Twiford accused one of the students of imposing their religion on others by praying audibly and demanded that they only pray out loud in the hallway or gymnasium, where other students would less likely be a captive audience.
Parents of two of the students involved got help from the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which sent a letter to the school threatening legal action.
The ADF letter read, “School cafeterias are not religion-free zones, and they certainly do not involve captive audiences. Students in the cafeteria are not captive audiences because they can leave at any time or turn away from the quiet prayer in the corner…”
In response, the school backed down on Dec. 17 and is allowing students to continue their prayer time.
Jonathan Scruggs of ADF responded to the victory, saying, “No student should be prevented from engaging in private prayer alone or quietly with other students on campus. The U.S. Supreme Court has weighed in on this specifically. The First Amendment protects the right to pray in a non-disruptive manner not just in private but in public, too. The district has done the right thing in lifting its unconstitutional ban.”
Even a small victory is an important victory when it comes to preserving religious freedom.