A Ohio High School Had Illegal Formal Prayers at Its Graduation Ceremony May 31, 2019

A Ohio High School Had Illegal Formal Prayers at Its Graduation Ceremony

Last week, when Logan High School in Ohio held its graduation ceremony, a student delivered a formal invocation full of pro-Christian rhetoric. We know this because a local newspaper reprinted the entire address.

The student said:

“For those of you who have religious beliefs, I ask that you now bow your head and pray with me.

“Lord, we are gathered here today to reflect on all that you have given us and thank you for your ever-present influence.

We are thankful for your blessing onto our school, allowing the class of 2019 to graduate harm-free from the many conflicts in our world.

“We ask that you stay with us in all of our endeavors and continue to be good to us, as you have been over these many years. Amen

“In Timothy 4:12 it is stated, “Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith and your purity.”

There was also a formal benediction from a different student:

“We would like to thank you all for celebrating with us here today. We will close with this prayer.

Dear Lord,

“Thank you for blessing us with this day and for the opportunity to celebrate with the individuals who have guided us along the way.

“May we always cherish the friendships we have made, the memories we have created and most importantly the countless laughs we have shared.

“Allow us to feel a sense of achievement in this milestone and excitement for what lies ahead, remembering your light as guidance as we begin paving our own path. Help us to apply our skills for the greater good, building upon the education instilled within us.

“As one journey concludes and the next begins, let us never forget where we came from, trusting in that no matter what happens, you have great plans for each and every one of us. Amen.

These weren’t student speeches that just happened to mention religion. Religion was baked right into the system, which is to say administrators knew Christianity would be pushed on the audience and they were okay with it. (The Supreme Court said decades ago that formal prayers had no place at public school graduations.)

Now, Freedom From Religion Foundation legal fellow Chris Line has sent a letter to the school district asking what steps they will take to prevent this from ever happening again:

The District has a duty to remain neutral toward religion. By scheduling prayers at graduation, the District abridges that duty and alienates the 38% of younger Americans who are not religious.

Please inform us in writing of the steps the Logan-Hocking School District is taking to ensure that religious rituals are not part of graduation ceremonies or any other school-sponsored events.

It’s a simple question that should’ve been addressed before the ceremony. Did no one in this District pass a basic government class that covered the First Amendment?

(Image via Shutterstock)

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