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Vigo stops teacher-led prayer

– A western Indiana school district is telling teachers and other employees they will no longer be allowed lead prayers during school-sponsored events.

The decision by the Vigo County School Corp. in Terre Haute follows a complaint made by the Freedom from Religion Foundation in May about a teacher leading a prayer to start a school awards banquet, the Tribune-Star reported.

District Superintendent Dan Tanoos said he has previously allowed the teacher-led prayers but has to live within the law.

A letter from the school district’s attorney to the Madison, Wisconsin-based organization that promotes the separation of church and state said each of its school principals have been told “that teacher-led prayer with students present will cease, as it is prohibited by the Constitution and should not be allowed.”

Freedom from Religion Foundation attorney Sam Grover said the group considers the issue resolved with the school district’s response. The group said the complaint originated from a family member of a child who attends the school.

“We sent our letter to remind the district that public school teachers have an obligation under the U.S. Constitution to remain neutral toward religion while acting in their official capacity,” Grover said.