November 2017 Church & State - November 2016

La. Attorney General Vows To Bring Back School Prayer

  AU admin

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry told a Religious Right group that he will fight to bring back prayer in public schools.

“With your prayers, and an offense, we will get prayer back in public schools,” Landry said at a Sept. 21 event sponsored by the Louisiana Family Forum. “I just want you to know that we are winning, and we will get God back into this country.”

As Americans United has noted many times, students in public schools have the right to engage in voluntary prayer but cannot be compelled to take part in religious exercises.

“Given this remarkable scope of truly voluntary religious expression available to public school students, one has to wonder exactly what Landry means when he says he wants to bring prayer back to public schools, “AU Director of Communications Rob Boston wrote in an Oct. 5 “Wall of Separation” blog post.

In 1962, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down coercive prayer in public schools in its Engel v. Vitale ruling. The following year, the high court declared school-sponsored Bible reading unconstitutional in Township of Abington School District v. Schempp.

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