FFRF action drops prayers from Michigan high school graduation (July 11, 2013)

A Michigan high school will no longer include school-sponsored prayers in its graduation ceremony after the Freedom From Religion Foundation took action.

Attendees to Ross Beatty Junior/Senior High School graduation in Cassopolis, Mich., contacted FFRF after the ceremony opened and closed with a prayer, both led by students, in the scheduled program.

FFRF Senior Staff Attorney Rebecca Markert contacted Cassopolis Public Schools Superintendent Tracy Hertsel in a May 22 letter explaining that by scheduling graduation prayers the school district abridged its duty to remain neutral toward religion. She added that the Supreme Court has continuously struck down prayers at school-sponsored events, including graduation ceremonies.

Hertsel responded on July 11 that FFRF’s concerns have been shared with the school’s senior class advisor who oversees the graduation. “We do not anticipate a recurrence [of the prayers],” Hertsel wrote.

Freedom From Religion Foundation