Suit Claims Religion Promoted In Louisiana School District

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — For the second time in as many months, a north Louisiana public school district is accused in a federal lawsuit of promoting Christianity in violation of the Constitution.

This time the defendants are the Bossier Parish School Board and the Bossier schools superintendent. A federal lawsuit filed Wednesday by four parents says officials throughout the Bossier system coerce students into religious practices in class, at athletic contests and other events. Examples include teachers and school officials promoting religious clubs and activities at schools.

The suit says some teachers promote their religion in classes, praying aloud and requiring students to memorize prayers.

A similar suit, filed in December, is pending against the school board in neighboring Webster Parish. Both parishes are in northwestern Louisiana on the Arkansas state line.

-By Kevin McGill, Associated Press

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