School district won’t back down to atheist group

Mar 17, 2016 by

A public school board in California plans to fight a judge’s ruling that bans prayers before meeting.

The Chino Valley Unified School Board voted 3-to-2 to appeal despite accumulating nearly $200,000 in attorneys’ fees owed to the Freedom from Religion Foundation, an atheist group.

The school board’s stand is rare since atheist groups often expect public bodies to cave to their demands or face legal costs that anger taxpayers.

In fact, an attorney for FFRF seemingly cautioned Chino Valley that its legal fees will increase if it filed an appeal that could take up to two years to hear, news website The Blaze reported.

Brad Dacus of the Pacific Justice Institute says the board should feel confident going forward.

lawsuit gavel with money

“The Supreme Court has held that city council meetings can begin with a prayer for the purpose of solemnizing the event,” he says, “and that it is, in fact, a valid secular interest.”

Pacific Justice Instititute represented the school board during its court fight and a new law firm, Tyler and Bursch, has been hired for the appeal, The Blaze reported. Like PJI, Tyler and Bursch handles religious liberty cases.

Despite the fact so much taxpayers’ money is at stake, Dacus reports most of the public is solidly behind the board.

“Without a doubt, the community is solidly behind them,” he insists, “and this school board should not hesitate but to do what is right and what is reflective of the community they represent.”

FFRF filed the lawsuit against the district on behalf of 22 local residents who reportedly oppose the opening prayer

 

Source: School district won’t back down to atheist group

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