April 2021 Church & State Magazine | AU Bulletin

A national Humanist organization has told a Texas public school to order a kindergarten teacher to stop preaching to students.

The American Humanist Association (AHA) in late February wrote to officials at the Round Rock Independent School District, advising them that a family had complained over the actions of teacher Laurie Raum at Chandler Oaks Elementary School.

According to the AHA’s letter, Raum “has repeatedly promoted prayer and church attendance to her impressionable students during the morning ‘moment of silence’ period. Examples of the teacher’s statements include ‘[T]his is a good time to say a prayer’ and ‘[G]o to church[;] that helps you feel safe … and loved.’” 

“No analysis is necessary for a Court to find your school’s moment of silence practice – which is used directly by teachers to encourage prayer and church attendance – unconstitutional,” wrote AHA Legal Director Monica Miller.

Last month, officials at the school wrote to the AHA and said, “[W]e have directed the teacher to refrain from engaging in any behavior that could be perceived as encouraging prayer and/or church attendance.”

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