Two California students can sue their community college district after their school threatened to suspend them for praying on campus, a federal judge ruled.
Kandy Kyriacou and Ojoma Omaga said the College of Alameda accused them of "disruptive behavior" after they had prayed with an ailing teacher in a faculty office in December of 2007, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The students said the school issued suspension notices to them.
Although public colleges are prohibited from endorsing religion, U.S. District Judge Susan Illston ruled that the women can proceed with a lawsuit against Peralta Community College District.
Illston said college students have the right to pray in private outside the classroom, according to the Chronicle.
The lawsuit seeks an acknowledgment of that right and an apology, and wants all disciplinary action be rescinded, said one of the pair's lawyers, Steven Wood.
The women want no damages apart from attorneys' fees, the paper reported.
The district's attorneys argued that faculty offices were "places for teaching and learning and working" not "protests, demonstrations, prayer" or other disruptive activities.