By Todd Starnes
There’s big trouble in Tampa, Florida.
A grade school principal was caught doing something inappropriate.
The Hillsborough School District says they captured the entire incident on camera. And apparently other staff members at Riverview Elementary School were engaged in the same kind of untoward activity.
The principal received a warning letter and was told to control future urges he might have – or else, according to the reporting of the Tampa Bay Times.
I’m sure you must be wondering what sort of nefariously sordid activity the principal was involved in.
Well – it turns out Principal Anthony Montoto was caught on video while praying with the faculty. It happened during a pre-planning session before the start of classes.
Mr. Montoto received a warning letter from the school district that read in part, “the principal of a public school should never lead or direct an activity that advocates for a particular doctrine of faith/non faith while performing his/her official duties.”
First Liberty Institute, one of the nation’s most prominent religious liberty law firms, said the Hillsborough School District violated the law.
“Teachers and administrators have the right to participate in prayer gatherings with other adults at school,” said Jeremy Dys, senior counsel at First Liberty Institute.
Dys said the law is clearly established and recognized dating back to the Clinton administration.
“When the Clinton, Bush and Obama Administrations agree that the principal and teachers may pray together as adults – away from children, anyone who opposes doesn’t have a leg to stand on,” Dys told me.
Or for that matter – a prayer.