Kentucky High School ‘Prayer Locker’ Initiative Nixed

Oct 11, 2019

Pike Central High School in Kentucky has agreed to remove its“prayer lockers” from school hallways after Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU) sent a letter claiming that the religious initiative was “likely a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.”

Since these lockers were being used during school hours and not limited to before or after school, Americans United attorney Ian Smith said, “It is pretty straightforward that public schools cannot display religious messages, and they can’t encourage their students to pray or engage in religious activity.”

Certain lockers at the school were designated as “prayer lockers” and students could slip pieces of paper containing personal prayer requests into these designated lockers to receive prayer.

One of these lockers was sponsored by Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Another one was maintained by student Emily Chaney, who wrote in a Facebook post, “I want to let everyone know that being the keeper of this prayer locker has been the biggest blessing to me. My church and I have prayed for every need that was placed in this locker.”

Despite the fact that Pike County Schools’ Superintendent Reed Adkins complied with AU’s wishes by taking down the designated lockers, Chaney is continuing the prayer tradition by taking personal prayer requests in the cafeteria.

“Thank you to everyone who has trusted me with your prayer needs, and please continue to bring those needs to me personally,” Chaney continued in her Facebook post. “I love everyone and will keep praying because that is my religious freedom!”

News Sources

Attorney: Kentucky schools should remove ‘prayer lockers’
In Latest Case of Religion in Kentucky Schools, Pike Co. School Removes ‘Prayer Locker’
WFPL News Louisville
Kentucky School Must Remove 'Prayer Lockers' after Group Says it's Unconstitutional

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