A Dallas school district has fallen foul of religious pressure groups after banning its employees from writing about God in their emails.
The conservative American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which was founded by evangelist Pat Robertson, has filed a suit on behalf of school administrator LaDonna DeVore.
DeVore sent a message through the Highland Park Independent School District's email system about President Bush's proclamation for a national day of prayer, and received a thunderbolt from district authorities.
She was told that her email to friends was inappropriate, and that her email privileges could be suspended if she used the system again to send religious messages.
While the the authorities allow employees to use the system for both work-related and private messages, it has a policy prohibiting "religious worship" and "proselytising" (recruiting support for religious beliefs).
"The school district has a communications policy that discriminates against religious speech," said Stuart J. Roth, senior counsel at the ACLJ.
Roth argued in a statement: "The law is clear: if a school district permits employees to communicate a wide variety of both work-related and private messages, it cannot prohibit a message from being communicated because its content is religious in nature. "The policy in place is not only discriminatory but unconstitutional as well."
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