Without a Prayer

The debate over religion in public schools is born again in Mississippi

"Almighty God, we ask that you bless our parents, teachers and country throughout the day. In your name we pray. Amen."

Those 21 words brought not a blessing but an immediate curse upon Bishop Knox, principal of Wingfield High School in Jackson, Mississippi. Last month Knox allowed the prayer to be read over the school's public address system after students had voted 490 to 96 for it. But for Jackson school officials that was an unforgivable trespass by religion into secular territory. Knox was fired.

His supporters, however, are trying to turn his dismissal into a blessing in disguise. Last week...

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