Many conservatives have long decried the decision to eradicate all forms of Christian prayer from public schools. While it is generally seen as inappropriate for a teacher or administrator to lead an invocation, students and faculty routinely face punishment for engaging in personal acts of faith on campus.
One of the most egregious examples of this trend was reported recently in Texas. After a Houston school bus driver’s 12-year-old daughter was tragically killed by passing motorist as she walked home, a number of other drivers joined in a prayer for the grieving parent.
Cynthia Cormier explained that, from the perspective of those involved, “prayer is the answer.”
She and other drivers lifted their colleague up in prayer via the district’s bus radio system. Though the ad hoc response was intended only for a specific audience, at least one easily offended listener stumbled upon the conversation.
A local union representative explained the eavesdropper “heard it and called in and reported it to the administration and they chose to write them up.”
The union further explained the drivers did not miss any work or pay because of the incident; however, the stain on their record could prevent future employment opportunities.
The action rightfully incited a robust public debate, leading to a subsequent prayer meeting at the Houston school district’s administration building. A number of local pastors joined the drivers and outraged citizens to intercede.
The pastoral alliance sought to have the records of the disciplined employees expunged.
Dennis Campbell asked God to “bless these bus drivers for blessing you,” while Rev. Bill Lawson asked that He “see to it that the jobs and the reputations of those who have been written up will be looked after and that somehow they should be fairly treated.”
Though there was no immediate evidence the decision would be overturned, a number of board members expressed a desire to discuss the policy with the district superintendent.