Trump Encourages Students Who Want To Pray, Threatens Schools That Try To Stop Them


President Donald Trump is reminding public school students of their right to religious freedom and issuing a stern warning to schools who try to suppress that freedom, according to a White House official.

The president planned to commemorate National Religious Freedom Day on Thursday by inviting Christian, Jewish and Muslim students who have experienced religious discrimination to the White House, Trump adviser Joe Grogan told NPR.

“We’re trying across the board to invite religious institutions and people of faith back into the public square and say, ‘Look, your views are just as valid as anybody else’s and, by the way, they’re protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution,'” Grogan, director of the Domestic Policy Council, said.

Trump also was expected to announce that the Department of Education will send a letter to schools across the country to remind them that religious expressions, such as prayer, are protected under the First Amendment, NPR reported.

The department was expected to update a 2003 guidance on “constitutionally protected prayer” in schools that protects students’ rights to prayer and instructs teachers and school officials to neither encourage nor discourage prayer in school and prohibits them from “actively participating in such activity with students.”

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According to the report, the White House has said there will be no change to law or regulations, but the goal of the update is to further encourage students and teachers in their religious freedom.

Officials also reportedly planned to implement a federal complaint process so federal authorities can be aware of alleged religious discrimination incidents.

Grogan also tweeted that the president was planning other ways to honor Religious Freedom Day.

Religious Freedom Day falls on the anniversary of the day in 1786 the Virginia General Assembly passed the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, which was penned by Thomas Jefferson.

Jefferson’s bill laid the groundwork for the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Congress passed a law in 1992 officially designating an annual observation of the importance of Jefferson’s bill.

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That law called for the first Religious Freedom Day to be observed in 1993.

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Trump issued a proclamation Wednesday confirming his administration’s dedication to protecting religious freedom not only in America but around the world.

“From its opening pages, the story of America has been rooted in the truth that all men and women are endowed with the right to follow their conscience, worship freely, and live in accordance with their convictions,” the president said.

He said his administration has been clear that it “will not tolerate the violation of any American’s ability to worship freely and openly and to live as his or her faith commands.”

“My Administration also remains cognizant of the stark realities for people seeking religious liberty abroad and has made protecting religious minorities a core pillar of my Administration’s foreign policy,” Trump added.

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Kayla has been a staff writer for The Western Journal since 2018.
Kayla Kunkel began writing for The Western Journal in 2018.
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