Illinois School District Bars Students from Announcing Prayer Gatherings on Facebook Page
(Publisher’s Note: Everyone of us needs to write or call this school district and protest this treatment of our Lord and these Christian students immediately. We will try and get an update on this case.)
By Samuel Smith
Jan. 5th, 2017
Another public school district has caved to the demands of the most prominent atheist legal organization in the United States.
Wayne City Community Unit School District 100 in Illinois has barred students at Wayne City High School from using the school’s public Facebook page to encourage their peers to participate in prayer gatherings and religious events after the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation complained about a Facebook post announcing a prayer gathering during a “Bring Your Bible to School Day” event in October.
The post, which was published on the Wayne City High School Facebook page by a student on Sept. 30, invited students to bring their Bibles to school on Oct. 6 and advertised a meeting in the school library at 7:50 a.m. “to pray over the day.”
“Everybody is welcome to join in on this activity,” the post read. “We will be carrying our Bibles around school this day. This is not just a Wayne City thing, it’s happening nationwide.”
Wayne City Community Unit School District 100
Wayne City High School – Wayne City, IL
Sept. 30 1:23 pm
“Bring your Bible to school when! We will be meeting in the library at 7:50 am to pray over the day. Everybody is welcome to join in on this activity. We will be carrying our Bibles around school this day. This is not just a Wayne City School thing, it’s happening nation-wide.”
Needless to say, such an advertisement of religion on the school’s official Facebook page drew the ire of at least one local resident, who complained to the FFRF, an atheist legal group that pressures public schools around the nation to crack down on any perceived endorsement of religion.
FFRF attorney Ryan Jayne sent a letter to the school district’s Superintendent, Jeff Mitchell, on Oct. 5 arguing that such a posting violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
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“This Facebook posting violates the basic constitutional prohibition by creating the appearance that the school and, by extension, the district prefer religion to non religion and Christianity to all other religions,” the letter states.
Jayne’s letter requested assurance that school district employees would not be participating in the “Take Your Bible to School Day” prayer gathering. Jayne also demanded that the school district’s social media accounts would not be used in the future to “promote religious events or practices in the future.”
Additionally, Jayne asked that the post be removed from the school’s Facebook page and the administration issue a statement saying that the it does not