The Sumner County School System in Tennessee is the defendant in a lawsuit filed last week by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which claims that the system promotes religious activity.
The US Supreme Court -- in a historic decision in 1963 -- ruled that prayer and religious activities in American public schools are illegal, because they violate the separation of church and state.
Nonetheless, the Sumner County School System has been promoting religious activities in its schools since 2006, according to the ACLU.
The activities have included teachers leading students in prayer and Bible study; prayers over the loudspeaker; a cross displayed in a classroom; and a youth minister proselytizing at student lunch tables.
It appears that the Sumner County School System is unaware that the religious activities in its schools are in violation of the Supreme Court's 1963 ruling banning prayer in public schools. More likely, however, is the School System's defiance of the Supreme Court ruling.
Consequently, the federal court in which the ACLU has filed its lawsuit in this case should not only rule that these religious practices are unconstitutional and must end immediately, but also impose a hefty fine -- about a million dollars or more -- on the School System for violating the federal law.
In addition to teaching the Sumner County School System a lesson, a hefty fine would also have a significant impact in discouraging other school systems from violating the federal law that bans prayer and religious activities in American public schools.