Secular Group Targets Georgia School District Over Religious Expression

By:  Dave Bohon
07/18/2012
       
Secular Group Targets Georgia School District Over Religious Expression

 A Georgia school district is being targeted by the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation over what the group claims is the district’s continued violation of the First Amendment’s supposed ban on religious expression in government institutions. The FFRF's assault on the Houston County, Georgia, school district began in June after a number of individuals supposedly complained that the graduation ceremony at Veterans High School in the community of Kathleen included prayer and religious music, reported Georgia Public Broadcasting. Later, more complaints surfaced about similar content during the graduation ceremony at nearby Perry High School.

A Georgia school district is being targeted by the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation over what the group claims is the district’s continued violation of the First Amendment’s supposed ban on religious expression in government institutions. The FFRF's assault on the Houston County, Georgia, school district began in June after a number of individuals supposedly complained that the graduation ceremony at Veterans High School in the community of Kathleen included prayer and religious music, reported Georgia Public Broadcasting. Later, more complaints surfaced about similar content during the graduation ceremony at nearby Perry High School.

An FFRF press release also charged that Houston County Schools Superintendent James Hines used the Veterans High School commencement to deliver a “near sermon” to graduating seniors, encouraging them to live with faith in God. The secular group claimed to have received complaints about the event from several of its “members,” including a U.S. soldier “who was dismayed by the sectarian musical performance and religious speech he witnessed at his niece’s graduation ceremony at Veterans High School.”

The FFRF complained that the ceremonies at both high schools “included Christian worship songs: Mark Harris’ ‘Find Your Wings’ was performed at Veterans High School and Chris Tomlin’s ‘How Great is Our God’ was sung at Perry High School.”

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