ADL Applauds District Courtís Ruling that Verbal Prayer in Public Schools
New Orleans, LA, June 16, 2000 . . . The Anti-Defamation League (ADL)
applauds a decision by a Louisiana Federal District Court which found Louisianaís
statute authorizing verbal prayer in public schools to be unconstitutional. The
court said the law is an unconstitutional state endorsement of religion and that
it has coercive effects on students. While the law could have been
unconstitutional if it failed any one of three tests, the court found that it
failed every one of them.
"ADL is pleased that the court recognized this law as violating the
mandatory wall between church and state," said Jerry Himelstein, Regional
Director. "State-authorized prayer is coercive for school children and
represents an infringement on religious freedom. Church-state separation is key
to ensuring that all Americans can freely exercise their religious views."
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.