Kindergartner Praying: Parents Taking it to Court

By: Pam Wright - April 2, 2014

Hoax or not, the parents of a Florida kindergartner — who claims she was told to stop praying before her lunch — are suing Seminole County Public Schools as a result of the alleged incident.

According to 5-year-old Gabriella Perez, she was told to stop praying by one of the Kindergarten teachers on duty when she sat down to lunch. School officials rebuke the allegation, saying there is no basis for the claim.

Marcos Perez, Gabriella’s father, posted a video on YouTube early last week featuring his daughter talking about the alleged incident.

“The lunch teacher said, ‘You’re not allowed to pray. I said, ‘It’s good to pray. She said, ‘It’s not good,” Gabriella said in the YouTube video.

School principal Analynn Jones told Gabriella’s parents none of his staff members had any memory of the incident and added, “We don’t have a policy against student prayer at all.”

Gabriella’s mother, Kathy Perez, believes what her daughter says is the truth.

“She wanted to pray, but she’s a rule-follower. I told her she did the right thing. I don’t doubt for a minute that my daughter is telling the truth,” she said.

The family’s lawyer, Jeremiah Dys, of the Liberty Institute of Plano, Texas, told reporters they will fight this particular battle in court unless the school offers a letter of apology by April 7.

“The principal has pretty much dismissed this. Saying a 5-year-old cannot pray over her chicken nuggets and mac-and-cheese isn’t in line with the Constitution,” said Dys.

There have been some question as to the veracity of the little girl’s claim.

Michael Lawrence, a school spokesman, said staff was told by the principal that there were no rules against prayer following the incident. Lawrence says school officials are considering the possibility that Gabriella may have misinterpreted something.

Image via YouTube

About the Author

Pam WrightPam Wright is a multimedia journalist for a Kentucky newspaper and WebProNews contract writer. She is Mom to five and Grams to two (and a half). She loves God, her family, photography, traveling, singing, running and scuba diving. Follow Pam on Twitter @pamwrightAMNews and on Facebook @pam.wright.90281943 and at

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  • Christian Warrior

    No mention of the teacher or of their religion. Not the little girl the teacher. Schools are indoctrination and hatred for those with faith and morals.

    • threadysparrow .

      nice name… idiot.

  • threadysparrow .

    So it seems like we are going to jump to the reaction that the school is at fault here without thinking about why a father would 1) post a video on youtube interviewing his daughter (which is one of the worst things you can do to a child other than abusing them) and 2) sue the school and make a media circus about it. Forget that the dad is a Christian author who publishes books about how the public treats Christians, just think about the language the little girl used. ‘You’re not allowed to pray. I said, ‘It’s good to pray. She said, ‘It’s not good.’ That right there sounds like a lie. I have been around children a lot and when they cannot remember the names of anyone involved nor what they looked like, and when they use language a child would use when describing exactly what the teacher said, they are lying. And this father is a BAD FATHER! You do not put your little girl all over the internet for people to see if you think there was a real problem. You want people to buy your books and you want a good story because you are a pseudo Christian.

  • VanPastorMan

    The Lamb’s Chapel case around 89 said that students don’t give up their rights as citizens once they go through the schoolhouse gate. This teacher doesn’t know the Law. This little girl has rights under our constitution,just as every other American does.

  • JC

    What, no mention in this article that the father Marcos Perez is in the middle of trying to promote a book about America’s attack on traditional christian values? coincidence?

    even if this happened, what is this need to use the legal system to sue? sue for what? and conservatives always blast liberals for suing whenever they are offended.. i guess it goes both ways.