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Louisiana superintendent refuses to stop illegally preaching to students — so now he’s getting sued

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Webster Parish Schools Superintendent Johnny Rowland (image via screengrab).

Despite blatantly breaking laws half a century old that prohibits schools from pushing religion on students, a superintendent in Louisiana’s Webster Parish refuses to stop doing exactly that.

In a Monday announcement, the American Civil Liberties Union said they are suing Webster Parish Schools and their superintendent Johnny Rowland for promoting Christianity at Lakeside Junior/Senior High School.

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As the ACLU reports, the school day at Lakeside starts with a morning prayer over the PA, read either by teachers or by student “volunteers.”

“Nearly every Lakeside school event features an official prayer,” the report continues. “Graduation services are held in churches and often resemble religious services.”

Christy Cole, the mother of K.C., an agnostic Lakeside student, said that when her husband confronted Rowland (then the principal at Lakeside before his promotion to superintendent earlier this year), he was immediately rebuffed.

“I’ll stop when someone makes me stop,” Rowland reportedly said.

The Coles’ complaint claims that “when K.C. started to stay seated during morning prayer, other students ridiculed her.” Later, “when K.C.’s parents stayed seated during graduation prayers, other parents hissed in disapproval. One of K.C.’s teachers also implied to the class that the Bible must be taken literally and mocked her when she questioned him.”

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Along with their suit against the school’s unlawful practices, the ACLU and their Louisiana affiliate are requesting that the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana “declare the district’s policies and practices unconstitutional and to block the district from continuing them.”


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2020 Election

Panicked Republicans ‘working frantically behind the scenes’ — but Trump just keeps attacking GOP Gov Brian Kemp

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Republicans are worried that President Donald Trump will pour gasoline on the intraparty inferno burning in Georgia.

Trump is officially traveling to the Peach State for a rally in support of the two Republican senators in January runoff elections that will decide control of the U.S. Senate.

Republicans worry Trump will continue to attack Republican Gov. Brian Kemp as he has on Twitter.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1335268230206722048

"Trump is to headline a campaign rally for Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler in the state Saturday night — his first major political event since before the Nov. 3 election. GOP officials are working frantically behind the scenes to try to keep the president on script at the rally, worried that he will use the forum to attack Kemp and other state GOP officials who have resisted his pressure, according to a person familiar with the discussions," The Washington Post reported Saturday.

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2020 Election

Trump ‘facing a rapid decline’ as he wallows in ‘rage and denial’ over election loss: report

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President Donald Trump's mental health since losing the 2020 presidential election was the focus of a new analysis by New York Times chief White House correspondent Peter Baker that was published online Saturday.

"Over the past week, President Trump posted or reposted more than 130 messages on Twitter lashing out at the results of an election he lost. He mentioned the coronavirus pandemic now reaching its darkest hours four times — and even then just to assert that he was right about the outbreak and the experts were wrong," Baker reported under the headline, "Trump’s Final Days of Rage and Denial."

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Will we ever know how much money Trump and his family squeezed out of his presidency?

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Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.

Four years ago, a victorious Donald Trump insisted that he had only lost the popular vote due to widespread fraud while raising tens of millions of dollars for his inauguration. Now, as his baseless, often goofy lawsuits get laughed out of courtroom after courtroom, a defeated Trump and his allies are raising tens of millions of dollars from his easily-enraged MAGA base to "stop the steal." And the lion's share of the $207 million Trump has raised since the election hasn't been spent on his legal campaign, but will instead fund his new political slush fund, among other things.

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