FFRF drops minister-led high school graduation prayers (August 20, 2013)

A high school in Hawley, Penn., dropped religious rituals from its graduation ceremony after receiving a letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

A minister led an invocation and a benediction at Wallenpaupack Area High School’s June 14, 2013 graduation ceremony. The graduation program included the prayers as official parts of the ceremony.

FFRF Senior Staff Attorney Rebecca Markert sent a June 24 letter to Wallenpaupack Area Schools Superintendent Michael Silsby asking him to drop the clearly unconstitutional graduation prayers.

“Students wishing to participate [in the graduation] should not be forced to forgo this momentous occasion in their lives simply because Wallenpaupack Area High School deems it necessary to include prayer in the ceremony,” Markert wrote.

Silsby responded on August 20. “The District will no longer have religious rituals as part of the commencement ceremony,” he wrote.

Freedom From Religion Foundation