Baccalaureate services and prayers dropped at commencement (April 29, 2019)

The Clymer Central School District agreed to drop baccalaureate services and prayers at commencements after FFRF asked it to end the unconstitutional practices.

A concerned Clymer resident contacted FFRF to report that the district had been sponsoring an annual baccalaureate service for graduating seniors held at Clymer Central School. Last year, a district music teacher led the prelude and recessional at the service, which also had messages from three different pastors, scripture reading, a recitation of the Lord’s Prayer, and a distribution of bibles by the Gideons. Last year’s senior commencement ceremony also opened and closed with prayer.

FFRF Legal Fellow Colin McNamara wrote to Superintendent Ed Bailey.

“Clymer CSD will not be hosting baccalaureate service this year nor will we open or close our commencement ceremony with prayer,” Bailey responded in an email.

Freedom From Religion Foundation