ACLU Demands Halt to Prayer at Private Nebraska Graduation Ceremony

By:  Dave Bohon
11/18/2011
       
ACLU Demands Halt to Prayer at Private Nebraska Graduation Ceremony

The ACLU’s Nebraska franchise is demanding that a school district in that state put a stop to prayer at its high school graduation, even though the ceremony is sponsored and run privately by parents. Ten years ago the ACLU targeted Lakeview High School in Columbus, Nebraska, for its graduation prayer, arguing that the practice violates the U.S. Constitution’s supposed separation of church and state. To appease the secular watchdog group, the school district spun off the graduation ceremony to parents, making the ceremony a private event at which they believed prayers would be beyond the ACLU’s self-commissioned purview.

But the ACLU called the move a sham, reported the Associated Press, and sent a letter of protest to the district charging that the private ceremony carries the implied endorsement of the district, and that the prayers are still illegal.

“The current ceremony coercively subjects students to religious messages as the price of attending high school commencement,” said ACLU spokesperson Amy Miller. “This leaves some students and their families feeling like second-class participants at their own graduation.”

The ACLU’s Nebraska franchise is demanding that a school district in that state put a stop to prayer at its high school graduation, even though the ceremony is sponsored and run privately by parents. Ten years ago the ACLU targeted Lakeview High School in Columbus, Nebraska, for its graduation prayer, arguing that the practice violates the U.S. Constitution’s supposed separation of church and state. To appease the secular watchdog group, the school district spun off the graduation ceremony to parents, making the ceremony a private event at which they believed prayers would be beyond the ACLU’s self-commissioned purview.

But the ACLU called the move a sham, reported the Associated Press, and sent a letter of protest to the district charging that the private ceremony carries the implied endorsement of the district, and that the prayers are still illegal.

“The current ceremony coercively subjects students to religious messages as the price of attending high school commencement,” said ACLU spokesperson Amy Miller. “This leaves some students and their families feeling like second-class participants at their own graduation.”

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