FFRF halts graduation prayer in Mogadore, Ohio (Aug. 22, 2012)

A member contacted FFRF regarding an invocation included in the 2011 commencement ceremony at Field Local Schools in Mogadore, Ohio. This prayer was listed in the official program and given by the class treasurer.

FFRF Staff Attorney Rebecca Markert wrote to the superintendent: “The Supreme Court has settled this matter — high school graduations must be secular to protect the freedom of conscience of all students.” Receiving no response, FFRF followed up on July 2011 and again in February 2012.

In a March 27 letter the attorney for the school district wrote that “Field High School will not have prayer at graduation ceremonies and has enacted policies prohibiting prayer at graduation.” The letter included a copy of the newly enacted policies which specifically state “. . . school officials may not mandate or organize prayer at graduation nor organize religious baccalaureate ceremonies.” The school district confirmed in late August that no prayer was scheduled for the 2012 graduation ceremony.

Freedom From Religion Foundation