Prayer case illustrates lack of common sense

Posted: Monday, February 18, 2002

Recently, in a public school, a kindergartner said grace while having a meal at school, and it is now a federal case.

A U.S. District judge in New York state recently ruled that Kayla Broadus, 5, can pray aloud and ask her classmates to join her, at least until a civil rights lawsuit on her behalf is decided.

The controversy began when Kayla asked her friends to hold hands with her to say grace, as her family does before eating meals at home. Kayla's teacher overheard and asked the pupils not to pray. The school principal, after consulting with school attorneys, backed up the teacher.

No school or government authorities prompted her to do what she did. The other kids could have declined, ignored her or sat somewhere else. No one complained to the school in this case. Even if someone had, Kayla's right to free exercise of religion should have been weighed heavily.

Saratoga Springs school officials were worried about keeping church and state separate. They should have been more concerned with the separation of common sense from their thinking.

-- Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville

Feb. 17

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