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Rights group, La. school settle lawsuit alleging religious harassment of Buddhist student

Officials in a western Louisiana school system and the American Civil Liberties union have settled a lawsuit sparked by the treatment of a Buddhist sixth-grader whose parents say he was harassed at a school where officials routinely pushed Christian beliefs.

The January lawsuit alleged, among other things, that a teacher at Negreet High School in Sabine Parish declared that Buddhism was stupid. It also said the school regularly incorporated Christian prayer into classes and school events and scrolled Bible verses on an electronic marquee in front of the school.

The agreement filed Friday in federal court in Shreveport contains a long list of prohibited practices. For instance, it says school officials won't discourage or encourage religious activities; and they won't assign readings from religious texts absent a non-religious educational purpose.

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