FFRF fixes up Texas school’s religion policy (July 27, 2017)

A Texas high school will no longer be using graduation events to unconstitutionally promote Christianity after FFRF contacted the school district over several state/church violations.

FFRF was informed that the graduation events at Big Sandy High School were laced with religion. During a senior banquet prior to the school’s graduation ceremony, the principal led a Christian prayer in which he made multiple references to the bible and “warned” about Satan. On the day of graduation, a faculty member gave students a copy of the Christian book “God’s Promises for Graduates.” The graduation ceremony itself began with a Christian invocation and concluded with the principal asking everyone to stand up to join hands and recite the Lord’s Prayer. Moreover, a local religious group was invited onto school property before the ceremony to distribute bibles to students.

FFRF Associate Counsel Sam Grover wrote to the school district’s superintendent, Jay Ratcliff, on June 22 to remind the district of its duty to remain religiously neutral and protect the rights of conscience of students. Public school graduations, Grover pointed out, are not the place to preach personal religious beliefs. Ratcliff responded on July 27 agreeing that the district would comply with its legal obligation to keep religion out of its schools.

Freedom From Religion Foundation