Aberdeen High School, Wash., pulled out of the Festival of Lights at The Grotto in Portland, Ore., after receiving a letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
The Grotto is a Catholic shrine dedicated to Mary, and the public school choir was scheduled to perform in a church replete with Christian iconography. The venue, a private religious group, charges an entrance fee, which it pockets.
FFRF Staff Attorney Andrew Seidel sent a letter to Aberdeen superintendent Dr. Thomas A. Opstad on Nov. 24, warning the district, “Taking public school students to a church, a place covered with religious iconography, is an endorsement of that church’s religion.”
Opstad responded on Dec. 2, saying that he had looked into the matter and decided that the choir would not be attending the festival.