Lunch Lady Lineup: 5-Year-Old Identifies School Prayer Monitor

April 11, 2014


Earlier this week, Liberty Institute client Gabriella Perez positively identified the school district employee who told her praying over her meal was “wrong.”

Monday, Liberty Institute Senior Counsel Jeremy Dys and the Perez family met with school officials from Carillon Elementary School in Seminole County, Florida where just a few weeks earlier, 5-year-old Gabriella Perez was told it was “wrong” to bow her head in prayer before she ate lunch.  School officials initially denied the incident took place.

During the meeting, Gabriella re-enacted the prayer and recounted the incident in its entirety to the principal and school attorney. At the request of the school, Gabriella also participated in a lineup, positively identifying the school employee.

The school district is now opening a full investigation. 

“We are grateful that Carillon Elementary School is now taking this matter seriously and conducting a thorough investigation,” said Dys. “We hope that, at the conclusion of this investigation, school officials will apologize for this clear violation of the Perez family’s religious liberty and begin to restore the trust of the community.”

“My goal throughout this process has been to defend my daughter’s religious liberty,” said Marcos Perez. “I am thankful that the school now believes that something clearly happened when my daughter attempted to say Grace, and are taking swift action to correct the situation.”

Situations like this are happening all to frequently. Aggressive anti-faith groups like the Freedom From Religion Foundation and the ACLU have created a culture of fear inside our nation’s schools – to the point that a 5-year-old child is told to stop praying over her school lunch!

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Also, if you know of any student, teacher or school district facing this type of hostility, please have them contact us at 972-941-4444, or through email at

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Other stories from this week’s Liberty Watch:

About Liberty Institute
Liberty Institute is a nonprofit legal group dedicated to defending and restoring religious liberty across America — in our schools, for our churches, in the military and throughout the public arena. Liberty’s vision is to reestablish religious liberty in accordance with the principles of our nation’s Founders. For information, visit

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