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Oklahoma school nixes prayers at graduation  (August 2023)

The Oklahoma-based Keystone Public Schools has removed prayers from its graduation ceremonies after getting a letter from FFRF.

A Keystone Public Schools parent informed FFRF that the district’s eighth-grade graduation ceremony on May 4 included an opening and closing prayer. The complainant reported feeling uncomfortable with this religious ritual, and feared being ostracized if others noticed they were not participating.

“A public school may not violate the constitutional rights of graduating students and their families by subjecting them to prayer,” FFRF Staff Attorney Chris Line wrote to Superintendent Rhett Bynum.

FFRF has received a penitent letter from Superintendent Bynum in response, reporting that the district will no longer include opening and closing prayers at any graduation ceremony. “I am truly sorry to anyone that was in a difficult position of deciding to stay or leave this eighth-grade graduation ceremony,” he writes.