Fireworks over a 'prayer room' at a Frisco high school

Fireworks over a prayer room at Liberty High School in Frisco

FRISCO, Texas -- Liberty High School has an empty classroom where students can pray during the school day.

Only a few people had the chance to speak on the subject of the prayer room at Liberty High School. It was not a topic that came up as an agenda item but rather in the public comment portion.

"Liberty High School is not a mosque...it is not a tabernacle," said one resident.

Tahir Khan is a senior at Independence High School in Frisco ISD. He and a dozen or so students use the prayer room at the school. They use it on Fridays near the end of the day for 15 minutes between third and fourth period.

"We always base it like school first and if you don't have a test that day or you finish your test then you come," said Tahir.

Lately all the talk has been about the prayer room at Liberty. It has spurred a tug-of-war between the district and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

Paxton questioned the legality of that room writing "it appears that students are being treated different based on their religious beliefs."

Superintendent Jeremy Lyon says there haven't been any issues in seven years and he called the state's press release a "publicity stunt" and "inflammatory rhetoric."

"I liked how he didn't attack him. He was like 'look, if you thought this was an issue you should have come to us first, we could have cleared it up for you," said Tahir.

Tahir's father, Asif, said the prayer room epitomizes freedom of religion. He says just a few years ago his family left the state of Mississippi for Frisco because of its diversity in culture. He says the prayer room is ideal for his son and says the alternative is inconvenient.

"Leave the school and go to the mosque and spend another 2 or 2 1/2 hours on the road," said Asif Khan.

Some parents who came Monday evening applauded the district for its response.

The district said it would not make anymore comments until the attorney general has responded.

Copyright 2016 WFAA


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