Illinois school alters busing in separation of religion case

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An Illinois public school that requires students who ride the bus to arrive early for optional religious instruction at a Roman Catholic parish has agreed to discontinue the practice in response to a legal challenge.

The Teutopolis Grade School in central Illinois rents its building from the St. Francis of Assisi parish.

A lawyer for an unnamed and unspecified number of parents who objected to the arrangement says that students not participating in the 8 a.m. daily prayer services instead wait in the gym, on the playground or in a computer lab before classes begin at 9.

Under a settlement with the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, the Teutopolis Unit 50 school district agreed to schedule its buses to arrive 15 minutes before class starting in the fall.