- The Washington Times - Monday, July 27, 2015

A Mississippi public school district has been fined $7,500 after a minister delivered a prayer during a districtwide honors ceremony, thus violating a 2013 court settlement against “proselytizing Christianity.”

A U.S. Federal District Court ordered the school district to pay a student plaintiff from Northwest Rankin High School in Flowood, who was represented by the American Humanist Association, $2,500 because the student attended a school assembly, which was not mandatory, that began with a prayer, the Christian Post reported.

The school district was ordered to pay the student an additional $5,000, because the lawsuit revealed that a religious group was permitted to hand out Bibles to fifth graders at a public school in October 2014.

U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves threatened the school district with another $10,000 fine for any future infractions, the Post reported.

“It deliberately went out of its way to entangle Christian indoctrination in the education process,” the judge wrote in his summary. “From the accounts detailed in the record, it appears that incorporating religious script and prayers with school activities has been a long-standing tradition of the district.”

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