Was a kindergartner told that she couldn’t pray at lunch?
That’s what folks in Oviedo, Fla. are trying to figure out, after a 5-year-old by the name Gabriella Perez accused a staff member at Carillon Elementary School of stopping her from praying in the cafeteria.
After the alleged incident, Gabriella went home and told her parents about what happened, and right away her dad posted a YouTube video about it.
“The lunch teacher said, ‘You’re not allowed to pray,'” said the 5-year-old in the video. “I said, ‘It’s good to pray.’ She said, ‘It’s not good.'”
But here’s the thing: Staff members at the school say none of this ever happened and no one in the cafeteria recalls any of this taking place.
A spokesperson for the Seminole County School System believes Gabriella misunderstood what was told to her, and he’s confused why her father would make a video instead of coming to the school.
“The situation as stated by the parent has not occurred according to the school’s investigation,” said Michael Lawrence, who holds the title of communications officer.
“We’re dealing with very young children here, so there’s quite a bit of an opportunity for miscommunication to occur. The time and the issues were very odd considering that the first thing that happened was that a video was done, it was on YouTube.”
Since the video has gone viral a few advocacy groups, like the Liberty Institute of Plano, have reached out to the Perez family and are demanding a deeper investigation by the school, as well as an apology. But based on Carillon’s response so far, it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen any time soon.
Kathy Perez, Gabriella’s mother, commended her daughter and said she believes every word she says about the alleged incident.
“She wanted to pray, but she’s a rule-follower,” said Kathy. “I told her she did the right thing. I don’t doubt for a minute that my daughter is telling the truth.”
Image via YouTube