Sep 19, 2011
Date Resolved

AU learned that Western Brown High School had a practice of including prayer at its annual graduation ceremonies. In May 2005, pastors from the local Church of Christ and First Baptist Church delivered an invocation and a benediction at the high school’s commencement ceremony. In an effort to prevent a repeat of the Establishment Clause violation during the high school’s May 2006 graduation, AU wrote a letter to school officials informing them that any prayer — whether offered by a school official, outside clergy, or a student — is impermissible at public-school graduations. The District responded in a letter stating that no prayer would be included in the 2006 commencement ceremony.