Court: Student prayers OK at school board meetings

NEW ORLEANS – A federal appeals court says a Texas school board can continue to allow students to offer public prayers at its meetings.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans affirmed a lower court ruling dismissing a lawsuit against the Birdville Independent School District. It was submitted by the American Humanist Association and a graduate of Birdville high School.

On Monday ruling, a three-judge 5th panel, said student-led prayers before legislative bodies differ from prayers in the public schools, which are considered a violation of the First Amendment prohibition of government established religion.

The panel notes 2014 Supreme court ruling allowing prayers at a town council meeting in Greece, New York, and said the prayers at the Birdville school board fall under that “legislative prayer exception.”

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