A small group of parents in the Bear Lake County School District believe steps being taken to keep religion out of schools border on the ridiculous, and they are launching a campaign to turn the situation around.

Cathy Winward and Clayton Robinson, who are spearheading the score of parents in Montpelier, contended their children are being discriminated against because all voluntary prayer and religious material has been banned from school.The district took that action in the wake of recommendations from state education officials this fall that the best way to avoid a court test of school prayer is to eliminate prayer from official school functions.

Board members believed taxpayer money would not be well used in defending the district against a lawsuit similar to those that have been filed in other districts.

The American Civil Liberties Union has already filed such a suit against the Rexburg School District after officials refused to stop praying before graduation ceremonies.

Earlier this year, an out-of-court settlement was reached between the ACLU and the Rockland School District on the issue of religious practices in its schools.

The Bear Lake County parents acknowledged that their school board did the only thing it could to avoid costly litigation, but they have started trying to link up with parents in other districts to begin pressuring state lawmakers for action to eliminate the constitutional prohibition against religion in schools.