Alabama Teacher Wears ‘Just Pray’ T-Shirt to School — Then She Was Sent Home

An Alabama school teacher is claiming she was sent home last week after she wore a T-shirt emblazoned with the words “just pray” on it. 

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Chris Burrell told WALA-TV she was not trying to “promote religion” by wearing the faith-based shirt. In fact, the teacher said she purchased the T-shirt to support Aubreigh Nicholas, a local 11-year-old girl who was diagnosed last year with an inoperable brain tumor.  

“I thought it was fitting to wear today since my kids were testing,” she explained in a since-deleted Facebook post. “I didn’t think twice about it. I wasn’t trying to promote religion, it was just my Monday feel good shirt.”

But the superintendent of Mobile County Public Schools, Martha Peek, didn’t see it as just a “feel good shirt.” She saw the outfit as an impermissible endorsement of religion.

“So at the point of looking and seeing ‘pray’ on it, the principal said, ‘Can you put on a sweater or something,’ knowing that there are other people who object to that…we have to be cognizant of everyone’s beliefs or everyone’s thoughts in a public school,” Peek said.

The superintendent said the principal was unaware the T-shirt was in support of Nicholas, noting the school is “totally supporting” the young girl. 

“I think that this was just an unfortunate connection there,” she added, “but still the principal would have had to exercise her judgment.”

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