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Group Sues Dallas School District

August 2, 2002

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DALLAS (AP) _ A public interest group sued a suburban Dallas school district Thursday over a policy banning employees from sending e-mail containing religious messages.

The conservative American Center for Law and Justice filed suit on behalf of LaDonna DeVore, who sent a message through the Highland Park Independent School District’s e-mail system this spring about President Bush’s proclamation for a national day of prayer.

District officials told DeVore her April 30 e-mail to friends was inappropriate and threatened to suspend her e-mail privileges if she used the system again to send religious messages, the suit said.

The district allows employees to use the system for both work-related and private messages, but has a policy prohibiting ``religious worship″ or ``proselytizing,″ the suit said.

The policy is unconstitutional because it unfairly singles out religious messages, said Stuart J. Roth, senior counsel of the Virginia-based American Center, which was founded by evangelist Pat Robertson.

The school district referred The Associated Press Thursday to attorney William Banowsky, who did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

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On the Net:

American Center for Law and Justice: http://www.aclj.org

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