Americans United for Separation of Church and State has asked a federal appeals court to stop a Southern California community college from proselytizing and imposing prayers at public events.
,,, Plaintiffs assert that school officials routinely sponsor official invocations at events for students and faculty at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, including scholarship-award ceremonies, commencements and training programs for faculty.
... The Westphal v. Wagner lawsuit notes that students and faculty members have protested the mandatory prayers many times over several years. The student government of Saddleback College has twice passed resolutions opposing the prayer practice, and similar resolutions have been passed by the faculty’s Academic Senate of Saddleback College, the Academic Senate of Irvine Valley College, the statewide Academic Senate for California Community Colleges and the South Orange County Community College District Faculty Association.
Officials ignored the complaints and, in response, actually increased the religious content of these public events, attacking religious minorities and nonbelievers.
In August of 2009, Saddleback officials showed a video titled “God Bless the USA” during a faculty training session. The video included religious images and closed with two pictures of military personnel carrying a flag-draped coffin. Superimposed on those images was the following text: “Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you. Jesus Christ and the American G.I. One died for your soul, the other died for your freedom.”
Making matters worse, attendance at some of these events is mandatory. For example, students who are awarded scholarships must attend a public ceremony or forfeit the financial aid.
Religion has no place in a secular school system. This... this offends everything I believe in. Damn, being in Canada restricts my letter writing idea. Grrr... I truly hope the appeals court does something about this.