Judge lets school prayer suit continue

Nov. 3, 2011 at 4:25 PM
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SAN ANTONIO, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- A federal judge has refused a Texas school district's request to dismiss a lawsuit over prayer at school functions.

Chief U.S. District Judge Fred Biery's decision Wednesday expressed impatience with the lawsuit and the Medina Valley School District's decision to fight it, the San Antonio Express-News reported. He quoted Los Angeles police-beating victim Rodney King's famous question: "Can we all get along?"

"The parties are spending what appears to be inordinate amounts of money and time which could be better spent on educating students," Biery said. "That, of course, would require the parties, with the assistance of counsel, to find some reasonable compromise."

The lawsuit was brought by the family of Corwyn Schultz, who graduated in May from Medina Valley High School. Biery ruled in favor of the family in May, barring the school district from having prayer at graduation but was overruled by an appeals court.

Schultz's family said the district violates the First Amendment regularly by allowing prayer at school functions. The lawsuit also says Schultz did not attend his graduation ceremony because he was afraid of being harassed.

Bierly, in an order Wednesday, allowed a student still at the high school to join the suit under a pseudonym.

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