Prayer at Public School Graduation- The Medina Valley HS Case Scheduled for Jan 30 2012Somervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


Prayer at Public School Graduation- The Medina Valley HS Case Scheduled for Jan 30 2012

20 March 2012 at 2:11:33 PM

Should a high school either have school sponsored prayer or allow a student to direct other students to pray in a partisan fashion at a high school graduation ceremony? Back in June, Medina Valley High School was embroiled in a lawsuit regarding, first, their use of a program that called for an invocation and benediction at graduation ceremonies, and secondly, allowing the valedictorian to lead the audience in a partisan prayer. Originally, the judge in the case issued an injunction against the school, and then the decision was appealed. School led prayer was not okay, but the valedictorian led the crowd in a christian prayer. I wondered at the time whether this decision would stand or simply die away. This was right before Governor Rick Perry's The Response initiative that used government resources to push a partisan christians-only event. The lawsuit is going to be heard on Jan 30 2012. Here's what we wrote about this before.

Via the San Antonio Express

The lawsuit, filed in May by the parents of Corwyn Schultz, who's agnostic, alleges students in the Medina Valley Independent School District are regularly, and wrongly, subjected to prayer at school functions in violation of the First Amendment. It seeks an order barring the district from allowing it.

Chief U.S. District Judge Fred Biery has been urging both sides to settle the case or refer it to a mediator, to no avail.

In filings last week, he revealed the school district has acknowledged that administrators told a high school resource officer to stop distributing religious pamphlets at the Castroville school.

As we have noted here before, anyone can pray in school (within reason, obvoiusly is a child wanted to pray out loud while the teacher was talking, that would be disruptive). What cannot happen is school-led partisan prayer; you can't have it at football games nor at graduation ceremonies. The question is also whether it is appropriate to have student-led prayer at graduation ceremonies-you can't do it at sports activities and the principle would be the same. It is an impermissible endorsement of religion if done at a public school even if led by a student. It's divisive and shows no respect for those who do not share a particular religion.

UPDATE Settlement was reached in Feburary 2012- MVISD lost

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