Break for school prayer criticized

July 2, 2007 at 2:41 PM
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SAN DIEGO, July 2 (UPI) -- A San Diego elementary school is embroiled in controversy over a policy allowing Muslim students to pray during a school break.

Critics told the San Diego Union-Tribune the policy at Carver Elementary either endorses a religion or crosses the line separating church and state. The policy has become a hot topic on conservative talk radio shows, the newspaper reported.

The school district says since Islam requires Muslim students to pray at a specific time, the school isn't breaking any laws by accommodating them.

"The district's legal obligation in response to a request that a prayer must be performed at a particular time is to treat that request the same as it would treat a student's request to receive an insulin shot at a particular time," lawyer Brent North told the Union-Tribune.

More than 100 Muslim students enrolled at Carver in the fall when a charter school that served mostly Somali Muslims closed.

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