The law is pretty straightforward when it comes to prayers at public school graduations: You can’t have them. That means school officials can’t lead them (even if they’re sneaky about it). And student speakers can’t lead them, either. At least not with the knowledge of the administrators.
We’ve seen schools try to work around those guidelines by letting students vote to have a prayer (still illegal) or not screening students’ speeches beforehand (which is just asking for trouble).
At Brawley Union High School in California, the administrators screen the speeches — as they should. So when salutatorian Brooks Hamby (below) submitted a speech with the following line, the administrators correctly said no: