A couple weeks ago, Greenwood High School in Indiana put a graduation prayer to a vote. The majority of students voted “yes” to prayer, so that settled it, right?
Of course not. You can’t vote on whether or not to follow the law.
Greenwood students must have failed their own Government classes.
A judge put an injunction on the prayer:
U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker late Friday issued a preliminary injunction against Greenwood High School, which had planned the prayer at its May 28 commencement.
The lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana claimed the prayer and a senior class vote approving it unconstitutionally subjected religious practice to majority rule.
Barker’s ruling says the vote to allow the prayer and the prayer itself violated the establishment clause of the First Amendment.
It’s been a couple weeks, and history has already repeated itself in California.
The Exeter High School school board has decided to let students vote on whether or not a student can deliver a graduation prayer.
Exeter High School’s class of 2010 will vote any day now, and early indications are that it’ll pass easily.
A petition that students gave the school board Wednesday in support of the traditional invocation was signed by 167 seniors, according to school board member Marlene Sario. The graduating class has 225 students.
By handing off the decision to the senior class, the school board was looking for a way to bypass legal prohibitions, Sario said.
“I’m tired of being told, ‘We can’t do, we can’t do, we can’t do,’ ” she said.
The trustees weren’t trying to pass the buck though, Sario said. Board members were told that case law permits student prayer — when students vote for it.
You cannot vote on whether or not to follow the law.
And, again, I question whether students comprehend the problem here. Just look at what this atheist student says:
“I’m an atheist, but I don’t care if people want to pray around me,” said Diego Lara, 18. “I’m voting for the prayer.”
(Who knew S.E. Cupp had a high school doppelgänger?)
This is a lawsuit waiting to happen. (I’ve already brought it to FFRF’s attention and they’re looking into it.)
Brandon Wright, who works at Church of God of Exeter and was at the meeting, said people are upset over the idea of substituting prayer with a moment of silence.
“Anyone who believes in prayer has the right to say a prayer under the First Amendment, and I think people should stand up and say it,” he said.
If anyone wants to pray at graduation, they’re welcome to. No one should stop them. I support their right to pray.
But this issue is about making a prayer an official part of the graduation ceremony. That’s illegal at public schools.
Smarter administrators would know that.
(Thanks to Erik for the link)