School Investigating After Kindergartner ‘Not Allowed to Pray’ Identifies Responsible Lunch Monitor

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School Investigating After Kindergartner ‘Not Allowed to Pray’ Identifies Responsible Lunch Monitor

By Heather Clark |


Gabriella-300x212OVIEDO, Fla. – Officials at an elementary school in Florida have opened a full investigation after a kindergartner who stated that she was recently ‘not allowed to pray’ over her lunch identified the monitor responsible for interrupting her prayer.

As previously reported, Marcos and Kathy Perez told reporters last week that their daughter Gabriella advised them recently that one of her lunch monitors at Carillon Elementary School in Oviedo had spotted her praying over lunch and stopped her from doing do.

They stated that they asked their daughter again about the matter to ensure that the story was true, and when they saw that both accounts were exact, they emailed the school about the matter and recorded a video of Gabriella outlining the incident in her own words.

“I was about to pray and say something to Jesus,” Gabriella explained, showing how she had put her hands together and bowed her head. “My lunch teacher told me when I was about to say something, she said, ‘You’re not allowed to pray.’”

“[I said] ‘It’s good to pray,’” the kindergartner continued. “And she just said, ‘It’s not good.’”

The Perez’ contacted Principal Analynn Jones, who then spoke to staff members about the issue and to outline that students have the right to pray in school. But Jones said that none of the teachers recalled the incident and a spokesperson asserted that there may be some sort of “miscommunication” about the matter.

“The situation as stated by the parent has not occurred according to the school’s investigation,” Michael Lawrence, communications officer for Seminole County Schools, told WKMG-TV. “We’re dealing with very young children here, so there’s quite a bit of an opportunity for miscommunication to occur.”

However, on Monday, the Perez family met with officials at Carillon Elementary School and their attorney to discuss the incident further. According to a report from the Liberty Institute, which has been assisting the Perez family at no charge, Gabriella again explained what took place that day. School officials then requested that the student identify the responsible lunch monitor from a line-up, and Gabriella “positively identified that individual.” The person’s name has not yet been released.

As a result of the meeting, officials have now opened a full investigation into the matter, which pleased both the Perez family and their attorneys.

“My goal throughout this process has been to defend my daughter’s religious liberty,” Marcos Perez said in a statement. “I am thankful that the school now believes that something clearly happened when my daughter attempted to say Grace, and are taking swift action to correct the situation.”

“We are grateful that Carillon Elementary School is now taking this matter seriously and conducting a thorough investigation,” added Jeremy Dys, senior counsel at the Liberty Institute. “We hope that, at the conclusion of this investigation, school officials will apologize for this clear violation of the Perez family’s religious liberty and begin to restore the trust of the community.”

9 Comments on “School Investigating After Kindergartner ‘Not Allowed to Pray’ Identifies Responsible Lunch Monitor”

  1. I thank the Lord for Christian with a backbone. People that is willing to stand for their faith. We definitely need more Christian like this family. Imitators of Christ not shying away from what man would say, knowing God is our defender. We have to Protect our children from the devices of Satan.

  2. To go to the depths of prevent a child from praying is just flat out evil, but Jesus is good!!! Because she knew that something wasn’t right with someone trying to stop her from praying. I pray the Lord blesses her and her family!!

  3. So glad they were able to get the school to recognize that something illegal happened. Simply asking teachers if they “recall” the incident is like asking a 4 year old if he “recalls” eating cookies before dinner. Unless they sincerely didn’t have a clue, neither wants to be in trouble. Besides, who’s going to believe a kindergartner vs an adult teacher? Blessedly, her parents did. She’ll always know she can count on them and the Lord to fight for her.

    This is a good reminder for all parents and caretakers to explain to their school-aged children what their rights are. Doing the school work, correct behavior, listening, stranger danger, bullying, bad “touching”, and Constitutional rights are a lot for a kid to know for the first day of school, but we live in a world that makes all these necessary.

  4. Thank God for the Perez family who checked out what their young child said. We have to stand up and speak out before we have no rights left. Again, thank you Perez family. Gods blessings be upon you and the attorneys for taking it further.

  5. Pray for this child and cover her with the blood alot of evil in the school system we also have to encourage our children leading of the Holy Spirit.

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