Four Lumpkin County Schools teachers left their classes unattended on May 1st to attend a prayer rally with about 50 students in a coach's office. According to media reports, it began about 7:30 a.m. and lasted for more than six hours. One student claimed that "between 12 and 15 fellow students turned their lives over to Christ during the prayer."
Though FFRF claims it is not asking Superintendent Dewey Moye to punish people for exercising their religious faith, it has sent a letter informing the superintendent that such leniency shows "unconstitutional favoritism" to religion and that it will "encourage participants to repeat the crime."
"We are asking you to discipline teachers for violating the law and abandoning their duties and to discipline students for skipping class," the letter reads.
Matt Staver of the Liberty Counsel sees the situation differently.
"The only thing that's dangerous about this is the Freedom From Religion Foundation that's literally trying to intimidate people in the school and exclude any kind of Christian viewpoint from the public square," he contends. "That's antithetical to the First Amendment and certainly to the history of America."
Staver points out that teachers and students have the right to exercise their religious freedoms at school.
"I don't see that the school was creating a situation where they're literally forcing students to attend," he observes. "It looks like any of the students that attended any of these private religious activities were doing so in a voluntary fashion of their own volition without the school forcing the issue."
Superintendent Moye has publicly stated that there will be no "consequences for any employee of any student" who participated in the rally.