SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (AP) -- A federal judge has ordered school officials to let a kindergartner say grace out loud before eating lunch.
Kayla Broadus, 5, had been stopped from praying with friends Jan. 15 at her elementary school in Wilton, 36 miles north of Albany.
The girl's lawyer argued it was her First Amendment right to say grace, but the Saratoga Springs school system said the prayer, because it was audible, violated the constitutional separation of church and state.
But U.S. District Judge David Hurd issued a temporary restraining order Tuesday, saying the school may not interfere with the girl's praying. He set a hearing for Feb. 15.
In a statement, the school system said the Constitution "sometimes puts a school in a difficult position."
"The school must respect the religious rights of students and parents, while also protecting the rights of others to be free from religious interference during school hours on school premises," the district said.
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