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Notable Lawsuits Over School Prayer in Oregon

By    |   Friday, 12 June 2015 10:01 AM

Oregon state law and school codes do not address the matter of prayer in school.  

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The largest Oregon lawsuit regarding religion and prayer in public schools is the 2006 Oregon Supreme Court Case of Powell v. Bunn.

Nancy Powell’s son returned from home from Harvey Scott Elementary School one day with a Boy Scout “every boy can join” bracelet, but was later told that he could not join because he was an atheist and all Boy Scouts must swear an oath to God.

Powell, upset that her son was being excluded from a group that was recruiting in public school on the basis of not praying, got the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) involved.

The court ruled against Powell and the ACLU, saying that as long as a group says they will accept everyone, they can constitutionally recruit in public schools.

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The ACLU called the court’s decision “a shameful day for Oregon.”

In 2007, twelve Oregon students were suspended from Heritage High School for praying in the school’s crowded cafeteria prior to the start of the school day.

Ann Sosky, the school’s principle at the time, reportedly gave the students brochures containing guidelines for prayer in school, which the students neglected to follow.

The group obtained legal counsel from Liberty Counsel, a nonprofit litigation group that often represents individuals in situations concerning the issue of separation of church and state.

The school system agreed to expunge the students’ record of suspension and allow the students back in school so long as they followed the proper prayer guidelines, reported the Oregonian.

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Oregon state law and school codes do not address the matter of prayer in school.
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Friday, 12 June 2015 10:01 AM
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