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Texas Digest: School addresses concerns over Muslim prayer room


FRISCO

School addresses prayer concerns

A North Texas school district says that Attorney General Ken Paxton is raising unfounded concerns about religious freedom over a spare classroom where Muslim students pray.

Chris Moore is a spokesman for the Frisco school district near Dallas. He said Friday the room is available to “students of all walks of life.”

Muslim students at Liberty High School have been allowed since 2007 to pray in a classroom that’s vacant for part of the afternoon. School officials say the initiative has been a success and never attracted controversy.

But Paxton’s office sent a letter Friday raising questions about students of other faiths being excluded from using the room to pray. Paxton’s letter cited a story about the prayer room from the high school’s student-run news website.

KIRBY

Off-duty DPS trooper shot at his home

Authorities say an off-duty state trooper was shot when he struggled with an intruder at the trooper’s home near San Antonio.

The unidentified trooper with the Texas Department of Public Safety discovered someone in his yard late Thursday and retrieved his service weapon and put on a protective vest before confronting the intruder.

Authorities say the trooper was attacked as he went outside and the suspect tried to gain entry to the home in Kirby, northeast of San Antonio.

The trooper’s firearm discharged during the struggle and he was struck by the bullet, but protected by the vest.

He was taken to a hospital for observation.

The suspect fled the home on foot and authorities continue to search for him.

EL PASO

Mexico investigates inmate hanging in Texas jail

Mexican consular officials are investigating the hanging death of a West Texas jail inmate arrested for crossing the border illegally.

The El Paso Times reported that Norberto Santa Cruz died last Saturday after he was found hanging in the El Paso County Jail. Mexican Consul General Marcos Bucio of El Paso said Mexico’s government is pressing for information on what might have pushed the 42-year-old Juarez, Mexico, man to take his own life.

The U.S. Border Patrol said in a statement that Santa Cruz was arrested for trespassing in an El Paso rail yard and admitted to having entered the United States illegally by hopping a freight car. He was found hanged in his jail cell March 4 and was hospitalized. He was removed from life support Saturday.



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