Suit: School officials in Tennessee county push Christianity

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Two atheist families are suing a Tennessee school system, claiming district officials there promote Christianity.

The lawsuit was filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Nashville by the American Civil Liberties Union. It claims Smith County school officials engage in unconstitutional practices that include school-directed prayer during assemblies, Bible distribution during classes and a large cross painted on the wall of a school athletic facility.

Smith County Director of Schools Barry Smith did not immediately return a phone or email message Monday afternoon.

Plaintiff Leyna Carr is a student at Smith County High School. She said in a news release, “At school everybody makes it seem like you have to believe in one thing, just like them. It’s very awkward and uncomfortable.”