Augusta School Department Punishes Employee for Telling Coworker, "I will pray for you"

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From Yahoo: (AUGUSTA, Maine/RNewswire-USNewswire) Toni Richardson, an educational technician employed by the Augusta School Department, filed charges of religious discrimination and retaliation yesterday with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) after being instructed to never use phrases like, “I will pray for you” and “you were in my prayers” in private conversations with coworkers.  A copy of the charge is available here.
“What Augusta Public Schools did by punishing Toni for discussing her faith in a private conversation with a coworker is unconscionable,” said Timothy Woodcock of the Maine law firm Eaton Peabody. “The law is clear: employers cannot discriminate against employees who privately discuss their faith while at work.”
Toni tried to privately encourage a coworker—with whom she attends church—by saying, “I will pray for you.”  Even though the coworker thanked Toni, the Augusta Schools Department interrogated her, asking whether she had ever identified herself to coworkers as a Christian or privately told a colleague she was praying for him. Later, she received an official “coaching memorandum,” explaining that she could not use “phrases that integrate public and private belief systems” while at schoolThe memo specifically explains that she will face discipline or dismissal in the future for using phrases like, “I will pray for you” and “you were in my prayers” in private conversations with colleagues at work.
“I was shocked that my employer punished me for privately telling a coworker, ‘I will pray for you,'” Toni Richardson says, “I am afraid that I will lose my job if someone hears me privately discussing my faith with a coworker.”
“No one should be threatened with losing their job for privately telling a coworker, ‘I will pray for you,'” Jeremy Dys, Senior Counsel for First Liberty Institute, says. “School employees are not required to hide their faith from each other while on campus.”
To read the charge of discrimination, go to

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0 responses to “Augusta School Department Punishes Employee for Telling Coworker, "I will pray for you"

  1. Who reported Toni Richardson to the Augusta Schools Department?
    Contact info. for Superintendent, Augusta Public Schools, Maine:
    James Anastasio
    Phone (207) 626-3206
    Fax (207) 626-2444

    • That was my first question too. Was it the friend she said it to, or someone else within earshot? If not, maybe the school is listening in on private conversations.

    • I am dying to know how the religious conversations between these two individuals came to the attention of the Superintendent of the Augusts Public Schools??? If as has been written, the woman who received the words, . . . “I will pray for you” was someone who attended church with Toni Richardson. This leaves us to surmise that there were “other listening ears that heard the conversation” that in turn reported it. The eavesdropper should come under censure . . . their name should be made available, so that other individuals could effectively distance themselves from him/her. The law seems to be very clear . . . that the School District cannot (nor should they) discriminate against Toni for expressing her personal religious beliefs. How many of us have also made the same remark to a friend or co-worker who was experiencing some kind difficulty in their life. I do hope that she prevails in filing this discrimination claim. It is in the best interest of everyone. If it had been a Muslim individual who discussed Allah . . . would that person be censured? No, I doubt it . . . this kind of behavior is reserved for those who believe in Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior!

      • Exactly…very well said! If the lady had said she would pray to Allah, the school would immediately have designated a room as a Muslim prayer center, and required that everyone present bow down with their head pointing east.

  2. traildustfotm

    Having lived in Maine, I am not surprised. The state is infected with some really awful leftists. Yes there are many good, sane people, but the leftist kooks are shocking.

    • Like Stephen King. He’s a nutjob left wing whacko. I’m surprised he hasn’t come out with a ‘modern’ version of Marx’s “Manifesto”.

      • the same “king” that wrote a child porn sex scene into the end of “It” and never got nailed for putting out such a filthy book, and seems to still make money and movie deals?
        I don’t know much else about him, other than he sucks at writing, and most everything ends up being an alien or satan, with the rare monster now and then.

    • Try living in Connecticut or Rhode Island! Two once predominantly Christian states are now run by people who can’t wait to begin persecuting Christians a la Vendee–same people, different times.

  3. Tolerance in red diaper people is like humility in Obama.

  4. Pingback: School: Private Conversation Isn’t Private | Lee Duigon

  5. Contrast the offence of the Toni saying she will pray for someone with Texas A&M professor who called for killing White people. And the university won’t fire him.
    I would have never thought that there could be so many evil people. Yes we know politicians and the banking oligarchs are on the evil list, but my God,think of the thousands upon thousands of people working at these schools all over the nation who are out an out communist, aka, evil. I’m stunned.

  6. Sure, discipline someone for a private conversation, but if a little kid gets beat up and unconscious in the bathroom, just send him home.
    Glad to see how well the taxpayer funded schools are doing.
    So, I guess the first amendment rights don’t apply to school employees?

    • Might makes right is fine for Leftists, but you can’t mention a deity or anything supporting them unless it’s Allah, the Devil or Ba’al.

  7. Pingback: Augusta School Department Punishes Employee for Telling Coworker, “I will pray for you” – NZ Conservative Coalition

  8. someone with a demon inside heard “pray”

  9. How are they getting away with blatantly violating our FIRST AMENDMENT rights to free speech and to practice our religion unencumbered by unconstitutional “laws”?
    Sounds to ME like a Class Action suit against the School District is in order;I’m SURE this Woman isn’t the ONLY one to be faced with this,or similar violations.

    • “How are they getting away with blatantly violating our FIRST AMENDMENT rights to free speech and to practice our religion unencumbered by unconstitutional “laws”?”
      Just like all the other rights are violated. It’s a sign of the times, my friend.
      Good luck on that lawsuit…

  10. Reblogged this on World Peace Forum.

  11. Note she was “interrogated” by the school board’s kangaroo court whether she identified in the workplace as a Christian, implying that doing so is grounds for dismissal. This Marxist intimidation will do nicely as a civics lesson for the older students who’ll rightly conclude that freedom of religion and freedom of speech are now mutually exclusive, which further implies that Christian expression in itself is a form of hate speech.

  12. They hate Christians because they hated Jesus first.

  13. Just emailed Mr. Richardson the following:
    A.D. May 18, 2017
    St. Venantius, Martyr
    Mr. Anastasio:
    You should be ashamed of yourself. I will pray for you.
    In Christ,

  14. Just how much power do they hold by listening in on a private conversation?
    Sounds like to me the wrong person was punished,

  15. This sort of thing was reported in places like N Korea and China just a decade or two ago. How has our “One Nation, Under God” slid so far down the path toward communism so quickly?

  16. Pingback: News With Views | Our Public Belief System—Really?

  17. Pingback: Ancient Rome And Modern Day America – Slavery Forbidden By Scripture, A Concession To Sharia | Reclaim Our Republic

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