Federal Judge Orders Teachers To Apologize To Agnostic Texas Family

SAN ANTONIO (AP/CBSDFW.COM) — A judge in San Antonio has ordered two educators to apologize to an agnostic family in a lingering school prayer dispute.

Chief U.S. District Judge Fred Biery on Monday ordered Medina Valley Independent School District Superintendent James Stansberry and band director Keith Riley to apologize. The judge declined to hold them in contempt.

The San Antonio Express-News reports the men allegedly made public comments critical of the family of ex-student Corwyn Schultz after a February settlement. The family, of Castroville, had sued but failed to stop prayers at last June’s graduation ceremony.

The district agreed school employees would not pray with students or elicit prayer in class, plus not disparage the Schultz family.

In an interview, Corwyn Schultz cited the constitutional separation of church and state as the primary reason his family was opposed to prayer at the public school graduation.

The district declined comment about Monday’s order, which requires the Schultz family to accept the apologies.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS Local.  The Associated Press contributed to this report.  All Rights Reserved.)

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  • 2sister

    It’s sad that we can’t even pray at a graduation, and stand up for beliefs. Saying ugly things about people, however, is not how to reach them and influence them to believe in God and Jesus.

    • John Denson

      And it’s even sadder that people who don’t believe as you do are expected to conform and participate in your rituals or face ridicule and harassment. This is America, lady. The constitution guarantees us freedom of religion, which includes freedom FROM religion. Grow up.

    • Dokk

      What’s truly sad is that a judge has to gather these people together, make one apologize and make the other accept the apology. Are these parents and teachers or children? What kind of example does this set for the children involved? Not a very Christian example!

  • Jay

    Whatis sad is the lack of respect of the beliefs or nonbeliefs of others. Don’t force people of other faiths or people who don’t practice any religion to listen to an obviously Christian prayer. Doesn’t the bible say that prayer should be done in private and not in public?

  • BryanJ

    Exactly Jay. Why do these Christians insist upon inflicting their personal beliefs on others?? What does it matter if your graduation or city council meeting goes without a prayer? Will God be mad at you? He is all-knowing right? He understands you’re a good and obedient follower. Pray to him in your personal time. I bet he’d be ok with that.

  • Rob

    If it does not matter to you, then why not take a minute to let them have their prayer. You complain about it like it waste a great deal of time. I am not huge on prayer myself, but it does not hurt me either when others pray. Sueing over this is just some peoples way of getting attention, no matter what.

    • BryanJ

      And what about that person or kid that doesn’t want to pray? They become an outsider. People wonder “why are they just standing there?” “why don’t they bow their heads?” What about PERSONAL do you not understand? It’s just a way of dividing people that’s completely unnecessary. I honestly think Christians like it because it helps them discern who’s not one of them.

      Oh, and your assumption is incorrect. It does matter to me because it’s just one more way Christians in this country try to impose their rituals and beliefs on others. Take it home, take it to your church. You have more than enough venues for your prayers.

      • Rob

        By the way, if you read my coment all the way thru, you would have seen that I am not a prayer either. I do not feel like an outsider. If you do, then that is more of your issue than their issue. No one is making you worship a “God”.

      • John Denson

        Bravo, Bryan. They just don’t get it. They never will.

  • Richard

    Hey Rob, got your feelings hurt? We are getting tired of your taking advantage of our compassion and sympathy. What about our feelings ? I have never been offended by others prayer or non prayer events. There is always one in the crowd that wants attention, wants to disrupt or aggravate the others. Are you rthat one?

    • Sheng

      Think about how we teach our children to be honest about their feelings. What if I have a beautiful, agnostic young daughter, sweet, kind, but not a church goer, and she’s put in this situation in a PUBLIC place? I could explain to her, if we were in a church, the importance of being respectful (you know, the whole”when in Rome” thing), but in a PUBLIC place she should not have to feel like an outsider or a second-class citizen. Please keep religion in church. If you can, and you aren’t pushy, who knows? Maybe one day she’d like to join you.

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