One thing will be different for students at Concord High School in New Hampshire this year when they go back to school. A mother, who has been praying on school property for two years, will no longer be there. She has been banned.
"They told me no more."
Lizarda Urena is in tears because she's been told she can no longer pray on Concord High School Property. She has two children in the school and says she had a calling in 2011 to fight school violence with prayer, so she started praying out loud – on the steps of the auditorium between 7 and 7:15 in the morning – as students filtered in.
"I stand up, lift my hands to praise the Lord with my Bible holding and sometimes kneeling," Lizarda describes simply.
She was told she has to move off school property after the school was contacted by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, dedicated to the separation of church and state.
"We decided to write a letter to the school district saying it was inappropriate and unconstitutional for her to be on the school grounds praying toward students," Rebecca Markert, the attorney for Freedom From Religion, explain by phone. "Public school grounds are different than her just going to the stairs of the city hall or into a public park. Public school property isn't open for everybody to have rallies and demonstrate and things like that."
But former State Representative David Bates disagrees and says legal action will be taken. ‘The school simply has no legitimate reason to suppress her rights to express her faith on public property."
Lizarda vows to keep praying for the school, but off school grounds.
"I didn't harm anybody," she defends, "and I care as much about anybody's children as I care about my children."
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