Earlier this week, a Tennessee federal district court issued a consent decree in Butler v. Smith County Board of Education, (MD TN, Sept. 14, 2020), enjoining various religious practices in the Smith County schools. The Consent Decree and Order provides in part:
Complaint alleged that the Board has a custom, policy, and practice of violating the Establishment Clause by, among other actions, incorporating official prayer into school events; proselytizing students; and subjecting students to religious iconography via displays in classrooms, hallways, and other locations….
School Officials are enjoined from promoting, advancing, endorsing, participating in, or causing Prayers during or in conjunction with School Events for any school within the School District….
School Officials are enjoined from planning, organizing, financing, promoting, or otherwise sponsoring in whole or in part a Religious Service….
Defendants are enjoined from permitting School Officials at any school within the School District to promote their personal religious beliefs to students in class or during or in conjunction with a School Event….
School Officials are enjoined from taking retaliatory action against Plaintiffs or any member of their family for bringing this lawsuit or otherwise objecting to unconstitutional practices.
WZTV reports on the case.