ACLU sues a Louisiana district over school prayer, enforced religion

By Amanda Marcotte

For students in the Webster Parish school district in Louisiana, according to court documents filed by the ACLU on Monday, Christian proselytization is inescapable. From elementary school throughout graduation, the ACLU alleges, the school exerts immense pressure on students and their parents not only to be Christian but to be showily public about their faith. Now a student and her mother are suing, claiming that the school district has repeatedly violated the constitutional ban on governmental establishment of religion.

“The practice of schools sponsoring and promoting religion, particularly the Christian religion, is pervasive and systemic and goes back many years,” Bruce Hamilton, a staff attorney for the ACLU of Louisiana, said of this district that serves a number of small towns outside Shreveport, Louisiana.

Webster Parish, where nearly 64 percent of voters pulled the lever for Donald Trump in 2016, appears to be another front in the culture wars, where Christian conservatives are intent on imposing their worldview on others, regardless of the Constitution and the law.

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