IFAS | Freedom Writer | April/May/June 1990 | prayer.html

School prayer in Duncanville

Freedom Writer has requested that Duncanville, Texas school officials discontinue several unconstitutional church/state practices. These practices include: Since making our complaint, the story appeared in the Dallas Morning News. After that publication, the prayers before the 7th and 8th grade girls' gym classes ceased.

Edward Parker, assistant superintendent of the Duncanville Independent School District, has staunchly defended the other practices and insists that they will continue.

In a recent phone conversation, Skipp Porteous of the Freedom Writer, asked Parker if he would permit other religious groups to distribute their holy texts in the school's hallways. He said he would not. Parker evidently favors his religion over ot hers.

A federal court of appeals has already ruled upon the constitutionality of organized prayers before school sporting games. On January 3, 1989, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit ruled that organized prayers before public school sporting events is unconstitutional (Jager v. Douglas County School District.) Texas, however, is located in the 5th Federal Judicial Circuit.

Freedom Writer is looking into legal action with respect to the Duncanville practices. A Dallas lawyer has volunteered to assemble a small group of lawyers to further explore the situation.

© 1998 Institute for First Amendment Studies, Inc.