By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Nearly 400 graduating seniors at Pace High School in Santa Rosa County, Florida, responded to ACLU demands that the school censor all religious speech by standing up and reciting the Lord’s Prayer during their May 30 garduation ceremony.
The students were reacting to a law suit filed by the ACLU against the Santa Rosa County School District claiming that some teachers and administrators were endorsing religion. The suit contended that Pace High School principal Frank Lay asked an athletic director to bless the meal during a dinner held at the school. It also alleges that the husband of a teacher offered a prayer at an awards ceremony.
Leading up to the graduation this past weekend, the ACLU demanded that the school censor all religious speech from the event.
According to Liberty Counsel, the public interest law firm representing the principal and teacher, the students at Pace High School were furious with the ACLU hijacking their free speech rights and decided to take a stand at graduation. As soon as Principal Lay asked everyone to be seated at the ceremony, the graduating class remained standing and recited the Lord’s Prayer.
The ACLU has not taken any legal action yet but has stated that something should have been done to stop the prayer.
“Neither students nor teachers shed their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse gate,” said Mathew D. Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law.
“The students at Pace High School refused to remain silent and were not about to be bullied by the ACLU. We have decided to represent faculty, staff and students of Pace High School, because the ACLU is clearly violating their First Amendment rights. Schools are not religion-free zones, and any attempt to make them so is unconstitutional.”
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