“I’ll pray for you,” Toni Richardson said to her fellow employee. 

Now, she’s is coming under fire for her “religious expression.” 

The teacher from Augusta, Maine found out her colleague had been going through a hard time at work, and wanted to offer words of comfort. 

“You were in my prayers,” she told him. 

When the Augusta school district found out, they sent Richardson a memorandum, and claimed she “imposed some strong religious/spiritual belief system.”

The memo reads, “Therefore, in the future, it is imperative that you do not use phrases that integrate public and private belief systems when in the public schools.”

“I’m afraid I will lose my job if someone hears me privately discussing my faith with a coworker,” she told Fox News. 

The district also banned her from referencing “spiritual or religious beliefs,” including the word, “blessing.”

They went as far to specify such language as off-limits even when directed at someone from the same church, as was Richardson’s case. 

Although Richardson faces opposition for her faith, she doesn’t stand alone. 

The First Liberty institute, an organization dedicated to protecting religious freedom, and Eaton Peabody law firm, are filing an official complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of Richardson. 

They claim Richardson is undergoing religious discrimination and retaliation.

Jeremy Dys, a First Liberty attorney, said that Richardson is in the right. “School employees are not required to hide their faith from each other while campus.”

“No one should be threatened with losing their job for privately telling a coworker that they are going to pray for them.”




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