August 10, 2009

Principal and Athletic Director Face Criminal Charges for Prayer

School employees in Santa Rosa County, Florida are facing criminal prosecution because of a prayer!

Pace High School Principal Frank Lay and Athletic Director Robert Freeman are facing criminal contempt charges for allegedly violating a court order prohibiting prayer. The ACLU claimed the two men were responsible for a prayer of blessing over a meal at an appreciation luncheon with former booster club members and other adults who helped with a field house project.

Liberty Counsel represents Principal Lay and Director Freeman. A trial is scheduled for September 17. If convicted, Mr. Lay and Mr. Freeman could be fined or jailed, yet neither willfully violated any court order.

Last year the ACLU filed a lawsuit against the school district, claiming that some of the teachers and administration "endorsed" religion. Rather than fight, the district consented to a very broad order fashioned by the ACLU, essentially banning employees from engaging in prayer or religious activities, whether before, during, or after school hours.

Without hearing legal argument, a federal court entered the Consent Order, which unconstitutionally infringes on the rights of teachers, administrators, and students. The ACLU then complained that Mr. Freeman and Mr. Lay violated the order at the luncheon, so a federal judge initiated criminal contempt proceedings and referred the case to the United States Attorney's office for prosecution.

Wake up America: Persecution is here! It is truly outrageous that this can happen in our beloved country that was founded on Christian principles.

Read our News Release for more details.

How can you help?

  1. Above all, PRAY for this case.
  2. Send a note of encouragement to Prinicpal Lay and Mr. Freeman. We will forward your notes and letters if you send them to Liberty Counsel, PO Box 540774, Orlando, FL 32854.
  3. Use these facts and write letters to your local newspaper editors, post this information online, forward this email and otherwise bring this to the attention of other Americans. 
  4. Send a donation to support Liberty Counsel's vital work of defending religious liberty. We do not charge for our work and rely on faithful friends and concerned Americans to continue this work.
  5. Take any other lawful and peaceful action that may result in victory in this case.

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