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      Fayette schools face school prayer lawsuit

      Members of the American Humanist Association claim prayer sessions held at Fayette High School violated the First Amendment.

      Members of a national group who do not believe in God filed a federal lawsuit against the Fayette School District.

      Members of the American Humanist Association claim prayer sessions held at Fayette High School violated the First Amendment and they want them stopped.

      The lawsuit claims a former Fayette math teacher held weekly prayer sessions for several years in her classrooms before classes. The suit alleges the Fayette School District of establishing a policy to allowing teachers to pray with students. The school??s former principal is also accused of making an announcement over the public address system to remind students about the prayer meetings. An upset Fayette parent contacted the American Humanist Association based in Washington D.C. and they filed the complaint in federal court.

      AHA Executive Director Roy Speckhardt said, ??Teacher led prayer during school hours in the classroom has been illegal for 50 years. The fact that we bring this to their attention and it doesn??t get immediate resolve and has to go to a lawsuit is a tremendous waste of taxpayer??s money.??

      The accused Fayette math teacher and principal left the district this past spring, but the association believes the prayer sessions are still happening at the high school. Fayette School Superintendent Tamara Kimball would not comment. She did release a statement through her lawyer saying they will vigorously defend against any claim that the district has violated any person??s First Amendment rights.

      School district officials have 21 days to respond to yesterday??s federal lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri.