Prayers at Texas school graduation won’t continue (May 31, 2019)

The Seguin Independent School District in Texas has altered its graduation ceremonies, to avoid its tradition of opening and closing with prayers led by students.

A district parent informed FFRF that Seguin High School has a practice of scheduling opening and closing prayers at each of its graduation ceremonies. These prayers are invariably Christian in nature. Last year, for instance, the senior class secretary began the invocation with “Dear heavenly father” and ended with “We ask this in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.” The ceremony ended with the senior class president giving the benediction, which also opened with “Dear heavenly father” and ended with “In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

FFRF Associate Counsel Sam Grover wrote to Superintendent Matthew Gutierrez requesting assurances that the district will no longer schedule prayer at school-sponsored events.

The district’s attorney conferred with district leadership and assured FFRF the titles have been changed from “invocation” and “benediction” to “student prelude” and “student adjournment.”

Freedom From Religion Foundation