High School Won't Ban Student-Led Prayer At Graduation Ceremony

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades

South Laurel High School in London, Kentucky, was reportedly threatened with legal action if they allowed prayer at their graduation ceremony this weekend. 

An unnamed source told WKYT that school officials won’t have a formal prayer, but a voluntary one will be held. School officials said it’s a a sensitive issue, but the Supreme Court’s judgement on the matter is clear - students are allowed to worship as their class schedule permits, but prayer cannot be sponsored by the state.

Senator Albert Robinson of London filed a now-defeated bill on religious freedom because the issue seems so volatile. "The overwhelming majority of people here (in Laurel County) are Christian. Every religion deserves freedom of speech. Constitution declares that," Robinson said.

The Laurel County superintendent Dr. Doug Bennett said the district will not prohibit student led prayer.

“We are aware of concerns regarding student prayer at graduation. Students have the right to pray of their own volition and they have a right to free speech. Our school district does not interfere with a student’s right to free speech or prayer. We do not prohibit student initiated prayer,” he said in a statement.

“We recognize the sensitive nature of this topic, but want to be clear, our graduation practices have not changed and we have and will continue to honor and recognize a student’s right to pray and their right to free speech. 

The anonymous source in the school system added, “after thoroughly researching the law, we have found that prayer cannot be sanctioned or initiated by the school. However, we cannot be held responsible if students decide to initiate prayer without our consent.”

Sources: WKYT, Americans United For Separation Of Church And State Image via Wikimedia Commons