Sunday, June 10, 2012

School Bows to ACLU, Bans All Prayers at Events

After receiving a threat from the ACLU, representing a single student, the Franklin County (North Carolina) school board, in an "emergency meeting" voted unanimously to forbid prayer of any kind at the graduation ceremony, as well as all future events, thus violating the Supreme Court rulings in favor of student-led prayer at school events.

Nonetheless, graduation attendees gathered for prayer prior to the ceremony.

For background, read Prayer in America: Hidden Faith, or Public?

-- From "Prayer eliminated from Franklinton High graduation ceremony" by Chelsea Kellner, Staff Writer, News & Observer (McClatchy) 5/29/12

The board’s vote also bans prayer at future awards ceremonies, and vows to make policy changes to ensure that there is no prayer at other school-sponsored events.

Board member Bobbie Richardson made the motion to pass the changes, but said in the meeting that she did so “under duress.”

“I think this protects the rights of a few and impinges on the rights of the majority,” Richardson said. “There is no happy medium here.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Prayer banned at Franklin County graduation" by Joel Brown, WTVD-TV11 (ABC in Raleigh-Durham) 5/30/12

The ban on prayer comes after an unidentified, non-Christian, Franklinton High senior complained about a Christian-led prayer at an awards ceremony earlier this month. The student's parent complained to the American Civil Liberties Union which sparked Tuesday night's debate.

In the letter to board members, the ACLU warned it was unconstitutional to compel students to pray at government or school sponsored events.

One school board member told ABC11 that the prayer at graduation was deemed a clear violation of separation of church and state. The move has received criticism from students and alumni in the community.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Franklin Co parents & students hold vigil to protest loss of prayer at graduation" by Steve Sbraccia, NBC-17 6/8/12

Parents and graduating seniors from three county high schools were joined by many others for the prayer vigil on the steps of the Franklin County Courthouse in Louisburg.

“If we don’t stand up for what we believe now, we’re going to experience the same kind of persecution they have in China and everywhere else,” said Jeri Norton who disagrees with the ‘no prayer’ ruling.

For some students who supported the graduation prayer, the mood that now permeates their ceremony feels a bit like persecution.

“I’m glad we were able to come together like this,” said Louisburg High senior Mollie Murphy. “I think it makes us stronger.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.