Student’ Rights Heard – North Carolina Public Schools Forced to Comply with Separation of Church and State

The American Civil Liberties Union (“ACLU”) brought suit against the Chesterfield School District on behalf of one of its students for unconstitutionally promoting religion. Specifically, the District held a prayer rally at a school assembly and prayers at official events.

The ACLU acted on behalf of a middle-school atheist student who did not agree with the Christian activities, such as the evangelical assembly, at school. Moreover, this student was pressured into attending religious events – for instance he was given the choice of attending a religious concert or being sent to the suspension-room. Such treatment hinders students’ freedom of religion and may even be considered religious discrimination.

The ACLU and the Chesterfield School District finally agreed to settle the suit. In the consent decree and order, the Chesterfield County schools admitted they had violated the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution which mandates separation of church and state. The official outcome of the case prohibits school officials from promoting religion and encouraging prayers at events and was made final on Thursday, January 26, 2012, by a federal judge.

Follow the story as it develops here.