Texas is concerned it has not received a reply from a suburban Dallas high school to an official query about a prayer room primarily used by Muslim students that reportedly excludes other faiths from using it, the state's Attorney General Ken Paxton told Fox & Friends on Monday.
Attorney General Ken Paxton is dismayed.
"The problem is you can't exclusive have one group over the other," Paxton explained. "So all we did with this letter was ask the school district for their policy, and ask them if they were inclusive or exclusive, but so far, we have not heard back.”
Fox said when asked, the school district replied with a vague statement: "We are required as a district to provide students the opportunity to pray."
Paxton stressed: "We didn't accuse the school district of having just one group [use the prayer room and] we are not discouraging the actual program. We think it's a great idea . . . We sent the letter [because] we wanted to clarify . . . We just actually would like to see the written policy, so we know for sure it's open to all students.”
However, the school district's spokesman Chris Moore insisted to NBC the prayer room is open to all of the school's 2,100 students.
"It's not just a room for Muslim students," he said. "It's a room Buddhist students, Jewish students, Catholic students, Hindu students, anyone who wants to use that room in that capacity can."
Moore said the letter, which was sent as a press release at the same time, "appears to be a publicity stunt by the [attorney general's office] to politicize a non-issue."
Earlier this month a student journalist at the school reported on the prayer room, explaining before it was established about seven years ago, the Muslim students had to leave school and go to a mosque to pray, which took about an hour, but now they are able to go to the room and then go straight back to class.
The Independent reported the Texas branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations released a statement attacking the attorney general's office, saying the "apparent lack of interest in the facts of this case would seem to confirm suspicions that the 'concerns' about Muslim prayers have less to do with religious neutrality, and more to do with exploiting growing Islamophobia in our state and nationwide.”
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