FFRF ends Mercer Co., Ky., high school graduation prayer (July 20, 2012)

An invocation and benediction were given at the 2012 Mercer County High School graduation ceremony in Frankfort Ky. Both prayers, also listed in the official program for the ceremony, made references to Jesus Christ and one ended with a genuflection.

FFRF Senior Staff Attorney Rebecca Markert wrote to the school district on June 8, 2012, reminding it that “the Supreme Court has continually struck down prayers at school-sponsored events, including public school graduations.” Markert requested “written assurances that the Mercer County High School and Mercer County Schools are taking the appropriate steps to ensure that religious rituals are not part of graduation ceremonies or any other school-sponsored events in the future.”

On July 20 the school district’s attorney wrote, “I have advised that there should not be any prayers as part of the ceremony.” He added, “While planning for the graduation ceremony in the Spring of 2013 has not yet occurred, it is my understanding the School District representatives intend to make the necessary changes to next year’s graduation so that this is no longer an issue.”

Freedom From Religion Foundation