Notice that the title of this post, first reported at Young Conservatives, is couched as a question. We are following the lead of our friends at Weasel Zippers, who urge caution insofar as the school has not been identified, raising questions about the validity of the story. If, furthermore, the adorable child appearing in the video below is providing an accurate unprompted account, the school is still entitled to present its side of the story.
Provisos out of the way, watch the video and read the parents’ commentary:
My wife and I were shocked when our 5-year-old daughter began to tell us that someone on staff at her school saw her praying – told her to stop – and said “it is not good”. This is Kindergarten. She was praying to herself for her food, following the biblical values we are working hard to instill in our children. We are so proud of our little princess and as you can see – we continue to affirm [to] her that prayer IS GOOD and that NO ONE can tell her she can’t pray. No doubt we will homeschool going forward.
We live in the United States of America – the land of the free, yet our traditional values and religious freedoms are under assault. This is just a small example.
The child does seem credible and the behavior she imputes to the “lunch teacher” has lamentably manifested itself before with slightly variation. Last September, for example, a 10-year-old in Memphis assigned to write about her idol was told she couldn’t choose God as a subject, although her backup pick, Michael Jackson, was fine.
Whether the story is accurate, it calls to mind a cartoon that ran some years ago in a consumer magazine that showed an elderly woman on her knees in the pews of what was clearly one of the great cathedrals of Europe. A security guard is depicted telling her, “You’re making the tourists uncomfortable.” The only difference is that in this case, the ban on religious acts is real.
UPDATE: J.E. Dyer notes in a comment to this article that some of the missing pieces to the puzzle have been provided. The name of the child’s father is Marcos Perez. This incident occurred earlier this month at Carillon Elementary School, in Oviedo, Fla. The little girl’s name is Gabriella.