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FFRF ends graduation prayers in Ohio district (October 2023)

Thanks to the work of the FFRF, New Riegel Local Schools in Ohio will no longer include prayer at graduation ceremonies.

FFRF was contacted by a community member who informed it that the New Riegel High School commencement ceremony included a student-led invocation. The student speaker asked attendees to stand and bow their heads before delivering a prayer.

“Students have the First Amendment right to be free from religious indoctrination in their public schools, including when participating in commencement ceremonies,” FFRF Anne Nicol Gaylor Legal Fellow Sammi Lawrence wrote to Superintendent David Rombach.

An email from Rombach informed FFRF that the violation has been corrected.

“The district does not intend to permit a prayer to be offered in upcoming graduation ceremonies,” Rombach wrote.