WPRI 12 Eyewitness News Washington DC Bureau

Pres. Trump rolls out new guidelines for prayer in school

Washington DC

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) — The Trump Administration rolled out new guidelines Thursday afternoon to protect prayer in public schools. 

He also rolled back restrictions on religious groups who receive federal funding, saying if they’re treated differently than non-religious groups, that’s a form of discrimination. 

“Prayer in public school has always been an important part of our nation’s history,” according to Chase Windebank.

Before Windebank graduated from his Colorado Springs High School, he took his own school to court. 

“We wound up getting banned by the administrators for praying during free time,” he said. 

Today, Windebank and other students who say they experienced religious persecution were invited to the White House as the president rolled out new guidelines to protect prayer in school. 

And in addition to the president, ten federal agencies are expected to release new guidelines they say will prevent discrimination against groups with religious affiliations.

Joe Grogen, President Trump’s Domestic Policy Council Director says religious groups shouldn’t be required to find secular alternatives for people who come to them for help but are uncomfortable with their religious ideals. 

“You need to make sure states, when they distribute federal dollars, they’re not discriminating against religious institutions,” Grogen said. “Some people need to get over the fact that they’re offended by people of faith.”

But Jack Moline, the president of Interfaith Alliance, says religious groups shouldn’t impose their beliefs on people who come to them for non-religious services, like adoptions or healthcare. 

“What’s being advocated by this administration is relaxing of the requirements for faith based organizations,” Moline said. “Which is a violation of the establishment clause, the very first freedom articulated in the First Amendment.”

As an executive action, the new guidelines are not subject to Congressional approval. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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