Source: Associated Press
By KEVIN McGILL
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A Texas school board can open its meetings with student-led public prayers without running afoul of the Constitution’s prohibition against government-established religion, a federal appeals court ruled Monday.
The ruling by a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans upheld a lower court ruling dismissing a lawsuit against the Birdville Independent School District. The suit was filed by the American Humanist Association and a graduate of Birdville High School.
The panel said student-led prayers for legislative bodies differ from unconstitutional prayers in public schools.
The panel noted a 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.”