PRAGUE, Okla. (KFOR) – Parents in Prague are upset after finding out that their kids have been going to Bible studies at school, given Bibles, and have had a morning prayer over the intercom the past couple of weeks at Prague Elementary School.
“There are kids who are either getting picked on or bullied because they don’t believe these things and aren’t choosing to be a part of these bible studies,” said one parent, who wanted to remain anonymous. “From how I understand it is that the kids went to the Guidance Counselor and the Counselor helped organize it and get it going but the kids had to lead it, it’s a loophole in the law.”
The anonymous parent has four kids who go to Prague Elementary and said one came home with two Bibles and told her she was headed to school to learn about God.
She also said that every morning over the intercom there was a morning prayer because all of the kids “wanted to do it,” according to school staff.
“You’re manipulating fourth and fifth-grade children,” said the parent. “Those kids are only doing it because they’re being told to. I get that it’s your religion so you might be comfortable with it but if it was another religion you wouldn’t be, you would be raising hell.”
According to the parent, the Guidance Counselor called a local Bible school teacher to organize certain events. The parent also said that the Principal was involved with the Bible studies as well but that the students were the ones who led them.
“I went to the principal and told her that what they are doing is illegal,” said the parent. “But they told me that because it is students technically leading it, it isn’t.”
In short, that is correct. According to Oklahoma law, it is only illegal to practice religion at school if it is done during instructional times and if a staff member/official is leading it.
The Superintendent of Prague Public Schools, Kevin Engle, told KFOR Wednesday that staff was not involved, and that it was student-led and organized from what he knows. The parent KFOR interviewed said that when she later spoke with Engle, he told her that they had gotten rid of the morning prayer two days ago and that he would investigate the incidents.
During a phone call interview, Superintendent Engle also claimed not to have known about what was going on but was going to look into it.
“Just stop it, stop it,” said the parent.
KFOR emailed the Principal of Prague Elementary, April Briscoe. We did not hear back.
“Why can’t you be happy with all of the other days you go to church. What like four or five times a week? Leave it alone,” said the parent.