Did Schools Bar Students From Praying About Or Discussing The El Paso Mass Shooting?

Our weekly check-in with the Texas Truth-O-Meter.

By Kristen CabreraAugust 21, 2019 11:20 am,

More than two weeks ago, a shooter walked into an El Paso Walmart and killed 22 people. Even more people were injured. Following the event, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick gave two interviews with Fox News during which he claimed that students were barred from praying or talking about the incident in the classroom.

Is that a fact? Madlin Mekelburg of the PolitiFact Texas fact-checking team based at the Austin American-Statesman has the answer.

Here’s what Patrick said during one of the interviews:

“On Sunday, everyone was going to church in America, praying about this, and the next day when their kids went to school, they weren’t allowed to pray or bring it up.” 

Mekelberg says he couldn’t have been referring to most Texas students, who had not yet returned to school from summer break. She says his claim was more of a broad criticism about religion and culture in America.

“It’s clear that he wasn’t referring to a specific incident of a student being barred from praying or anything like that because most schools weren’t actually in session, in Texas at least,” Mekelberg says. “This was part of a larger comment he was making about the issues in our culture today that might have fed into something like the shooting happening, and a lack of prayer and religion was one of the reasons that he cited.”

Hear how Patrick’s claim scored in the player above.


Written by Marina Marquez.