School prayer ruling in Alabama
JLSatty at AOL.COM
Thu Oct 30 19:21:48 PST 1997
District Judge Ira DeMent issued a permanent injunction against an Alabama
school district in Chandler v. James yesterday. This is the case in which
Gov. James said the 1st Amendment did not apply to Alabama. In part the
ruling says the Defendants are enjoined "from aiding, abetting, commanding,
counseling, inducing, ordering, procuring, or permitting school organized or
officially sanctioned religious activities in the classrooms of DeKalb County
schools including, but not limited to: vocal prayer, Bible and religious
devotional or scripture readings, distribution of religious materials, texts,
or announcements, ..."etc.
Judge DeMent provides examples of what types of conduct will or will not
violate the injunction in a 17 page opinion. It deals with graduation
exercises (prohibits school officials from requiring attendence at religious
baccalaureate services as a condition of attendence at commencement, which
they were doing), use of the P A systems for religious addresses, school
assemblies and events (including atheletic events), passing out of bibles and
religious tracts (specifically addreses Gideons forcing bibles on kids on
school property), alludes to consequences for harassment of the parties or
witnesses, and directs that a monitor be appointed to ensure complience. The
Defendants had agreed to cease certain conduct at one point in the
litigation, then did not, and got caught.
For more information, contact me.
Joel L. Sogol
Attorney at Law
609 28th Ave.
Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35401
e-mail -- JLSatty@ aol.com
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