Webster Parish School District Sued Over Allegedly Violating the First Amendment


In the federal complaint, the plaintiff alleges that science teachers referred to evolution as a “fairy tale.” Specific to her daughter, Ms. Cole alleges that when her daughter was in first grade, she witnessed a teacher grab a little boy by the shirt and drag him into the hall because he chose to sit down when a Christian prayer was read over the intercom system. The complaint states that in 2011 her daughter witnessed teachers tell students that playing Magic: The Gathering, a card game, was “of the Devil.” The current superintendent of Webster Parish, Johnny Rowland, is the former high school principal of Lakeside. The plaintiff alleges that when Rowland was the principal, her daughter and the father of her daughter was told that he would only stop daily prayers in the school when “someone makes me stop.”

Additional complaints include allegations that anti-Muslim comments were made during an American History class, a Christian rapper was brought to the school several times and encouraged the children to turn their lives over to God, and that Bibles were slapped on desks in elementary school when questions were asked about whether the Bible should be taken as a literal accounting.