Texas school's Muslim prayer room prompts outrage from state attorney general's office

Amna Salman and other Muslim students gather to pray inside a classroom at Liberty High in Frisco

Amna Salman and other Muslim students gather to pray inside a classroom at Liberty High in Frisco

While the Muslim students' needs were the impetus for the prayer room, and they make the most use of it, it was open for all students to practice their faiths from the start, said Moore. Paxton has also opposed atheists seeking to halt prayers before public meetings.

Since 2007 Muslim students at Liberty High School in the Frisco Independent School District have been allowed to use a spare classroom to pray in during the afternoon.

What an embarrassing display of political grandstanding.

Frisco ISD's superintendent is accusing the Texas Attorney General's Office of engaging in a "publicity stunt" after it send the district a letter questioning the legality of an on campus prayer room.

Paxton stressed: "We didn't accuse the school district of having just one group [use the prayer room and] we are not discouraging the actual program.

The principal of Liberty High School noted in his interview there have not been any issues for over seven (7) years with this room, that is, however, until the OAG's 'Press Release.' It is important to note Frisco ISD is greatly concerned that this type of inflammatory rhetoric in the current climate may place the District, its students, staff, parents and community in danger of unnecessary disruption", the district wrote in its response to Leonie.

Moore also said this is the first time the district has heard from the attorney general's office regarding the issue.

"Reports from Liberty's news site indicate that the prayer room is not available to students of all faiths".

In the letter to Lyon, Leonie wrote that the attorney general's "initial inquiry left several questions unresolved".

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But when he recently caught wind of a Frisco school going out of its way to designate a prayer room for students, his office sent an angry letter to the superintendent's office demanding an explanation.

Lyon said he learned about Paxton's letter through the media on Friday. "It is unclear whether students of other faiths may use the room at the same time or at other times during the week", the letter said.

Jeffress said that as long as students have equal access to the room, there is no First Amendment issue.

So Liberty Principal Scott Warstler met with Muslim students and parents and arranged for a "prayer room" from 2:05 to 2:35 p.m. every day, Moore said.

"Instead, it appears that the prayer room is "dedicated to the religious needs of some students" - namely, those who practice Islam", he wrote in the letter on 17 March to Liberty High School.

He told the school's Wingspan News: 'We gave them a space so they didn't have to be in a auto traveling thirty minutes each way on a Friday missing an hour, hour and a half, of class'.

See Leonie's original letter and the district's response below. "To Frisco ISD's knowledge, it has not received any inquiry from the OAG [Office of the Attorney General] on this issue".

Texas Attorney General Paxton made national headlines when he helped sue the school district in Killeen for taking down a 6ft poster, entitled A Charlie Brown Christmas, which included a Bible quote. "Confusingly, however, the OAG's office applauds the Frisco ISD's "willingness to guarantee the freedom of student-led religious groups" which is exactly what is required under the Act".

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