Members of a California school board who heavily used prayer during public meetings are being ordered to pay more than $200,000 in lawyers fees, the San Bernardino Sun reports.
On February 18, U.S. District Judge Jesus Bernal ordered the Chino Valley Unified School Board to stop a years-long practice of “reciting prayers, Bible readings and proselytizing at board meetings,” the Sun reports.
On Thursday, the judge ordered board president Andrew Cruz, along with board members James Na and Sylvio Orzco to pay out $202,971.70 to the Freedom From Religion Foundation in association with their November 2014 lawsuit.
In the suit, the FFRF claimed that Na "often injects religion into his comments” at meeting conclusions while Cruz regularly concluded with a Bible reading. Prayers were also used to open the public meetings. But it didn't stop there. Regular attendees complained the board members often stopped business to make long professions of their faith, according to the Sun.
Na at one meeting either mentioned or discussed Jesus 10 times.
"Our plaintiffs told us the board proceedings were more like a church service than a school board meeting," FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor said in February, according to American School and University. "So my reaction to the ruling is, 'Hallelujah!'"