Sunday, July 19, 2015

Magdalene “Gracie" Bedi received for $2500 claiming a Rankin School District Prayer caused her harm

At a ceremony for the school's ACT exams, a pastor, during his invocation, the minister asked students to bow their heads, referred to God several times and alluded to Jesus.

Heaven forbid. For an atheist student this must have just been awful.

  • Not everyone was a fan of that assembly. Magdalene “Gracie" Bedi, then a student at Northwest Rankin, filed suit against the school with the help of the American Humanist Association’s (AHA) Appignani Humanist Legal Center. A judge ruled in her favor, finding that the school had violated the First Amendment principle of church-state separation. The court ordered the school district not to hold any coercive religious assemblies and to pay $15,000 in attorney’s fees.
    Bedi, who received Americans United’s David Norr Youth Activist Award in November for her courage in standing up for true religious freedom, said following the win that: “I’m grateful for the school’s maturity throughout this ordeal and I look forward to graduating with them on a positive note. No one should have to question their rights in a public school and I think Northwest [Rankin High School] realizes this now.”
    Of course that victory was short lived, as Northwest Rankin High violated the court’s judgement less than one year later. Ironically, the 2014 violation also occurred with Bedi in attendance, so the AHA went back to court and asked for the district to be held in contempt.
    This week, a federal judge did just that. U.S. District Judge Carlton W. Reeves said the district owes Bedi $2,500 and must also pay a $5,000 fine for another incident at a district elementary school in October 2014 in which members of the Gideons International were allowed to hand
 SOURCE: Americans United