LGBTQ club greenlighted, but prayer group banned in school

A fifth-grade girl was denied permission to start an interfaith prayer group at her primary school, while a week earlier, permission for the operation of an LGBTQ club had been granted at the same school in the United States.

WORLD APRIL 13. 2024 19:44

11-year-old Laura, a Creekside Elementary student, told „Fox News @ Night” she had felt alone in her classroom at the larger school. After speaking with friends who felt the same way, Laura pitched the idea of bringing people together and doing good in the community by starting an interfaith prayer group.

The fifth grade girl claimed the interfaith prayer group welcomed all students, regardless of religion.

„I think that this is something that I am very passionate about. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t really want to make this happen, if I didn’t think that it would be a great opportunity for everyone,”

Laura said, however the school refused to grant her permission to start a prayer group.

First Liberty Institute, a nonprofit Christian legal organisation representing Laura and another unidentified student and their parents, sent a letter to Issaquah School District officials about the incident.

„Denying the formation of a religious student club while allowing other clubs violates the Constitution,”

Kayla Toney, associate counsel at First Liberty Institute, said. As it turned out, while Laura’s request to start the prayer group was torpedoed by the school leadership, they had allowed the formation of an LGBTQ club at the school.

„School officials at Creekside Elementary are engaged in religious discrimination against an eleven-year-old girl who simply wants to pray, feel support from other religious friends, and do community service,”

Associate Counsel Kayla Toney noted.

In February, Laura and her mother had allegedly met with the Creekside principal who claimed that all funding for school clubs had already been allocated back in October. However, a Pride club had allegedly launched just a week before the meeting.

Creekside happens to be located near Bremerton High School in the state of Washington, where Coach Joe Kennedy was fired for praying on the football pitch after each game. The Supreme Court ruled in favour of Kennedy and stressed that the First Amendment protects students and employees to express faith in public schools. The coach was later reinstated.

„The Court in the Kennedy case explained that… the First Amendment ‘doubly protects religious speech.’ These First Amendment protections extend to elementary school students expressing their sincere religious beliefs through a voluntary club. Yet the school district flouted its First Amendment obligations when they refused to allow a student-led interfaith prayer club. Its unlawful action violates both the Free Exercise Clause and the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment,” the statement from First Liberty reads.




lmbtq, pray, school