Friday, March 02, 2007

Twelve Students Receive 10-Day Suspension for Praying Before School

Vancouver, WA - Today twelve high school students at Heritage High School were suspended for ten days for gathering to pray before school. Liberty Counsel is providing legal assistance to the students who were suspended.

A few weeks ago, the students tried to start a prayer club, but the school's vice principal, Alex Otoupal, would not let them meet in a private room. The students gathered in the cafeteria before school to pray, but a Satanist student went to the school office and complained. As a result, Vice Principal Otoupal told the Christian students they could not pray in the cafeteria but would have to go outside. After the students insisted on praying in the cafeteria because of inclement weather, Otoupal suspended them for ten days.

It is absolutely outrageous that the school allowed one Satanist student to exercise a heckler's veto over the other students' speech. This situation underscores the ignorance of school officials regarding the constitutional rights of students. Most of the students who were suspended are immigrants from Russia. We must show them that America is still the land of the free. School officials must immediately reverse the suspensions.