FFRF rids two schools of graduation prayer (Aug. 4, 2011)

Humble High School’s (Humble, Texas) May 2011 graduation ceremony included an invocation and benediction. The invocation began with “Dear Heavenly Father” and the benediction ended with “In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.” 

On June 22, 2011, FFRF Staff Attorney Stephanie Schmitt reminded the District that it has a legal duty to remain neutral toward religion and asked that the School Board take steps to “ensure that the district high schools are not scheduling religious practices as part of their graduation ceremonies or any other school-sponsored events.” 

On August 4, 2011, the District wrote back stating that it will now require all schools in the District to use the terms “opening remarks” and “closing remarks” as opposed to the terms “invocation” and “benediction.” Stephanie Schmitt sent a similar complaint to Deer Park Independent School District in Deer Park, Texas on June 22, 2011. Per their their August 25th, 2011 response, the Deer Park Independent School District will be requiring an identical change in their graduation ceremonies. 

Freedom From Religion Foundation