I suspect stories like this are far more widespread than we know, given that most Arkansas schools refuse to teach evolution and that some flavors of Christians believe it is their right to cram their religion down the throats of others.

The Times Record reports that a Van Buren teacher prayed over her class, handed out Bible verses and posted verses on the classroom wall.


On April 21, a parent said, her son told her that before the students’ annual Benchmark exams the preceding week, Central Middle School teacher Jan Redden prayed “for the Devil to be bound up and not to enter their brains.”

It isn’t reported whether God lifted up the middle school students’ test scores, but parental complaints have stopped the public school prayer exercises.

Van Buren is where a high school principal sent letters to staff members inviting them to join her as “prayer warriors.” the story mentions that episode prompted unspecified “personnel” action.