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Gradebook

Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

About those high school graduation ceremonies at churches ...

A federal judge in Connecticut has ruled them unconstitutional.

Two Enfield, Conn., high school seniors, their parents and the ACLU sued their school district over plans to conduct commencement at a Christian church that had several large crosses that could not be covered or removed.

“The Enfield Schools’ plan to hold the ceremonies in a church created an unnecessary divisive atmosphere for what should be a positive and inclusive event for all students,” Andrew Schneider, ACLU Connecticut executive director, said in a statement.

The court agreed, saying the school district had excessive entanglement with religion in its graduation plans:

"The court recognizes that likely many members of the graduating classes -- and their family and friends -- belong to a religion and participate in religious practices. As Justice Kennedy said in Lee, “(W)e acknowledge the profound belief of adherents to many faiths that there must be a place in the student’s life for precepts of a morality higher even than the law we today enforce.” Lee, 505 U.S. at 598. While agreeing with that principle, it is the conclusion of this court that that 'place' is not graduation night at First Cathedral ..."

Just something to think about as some local students head to graduation ceremonies at churches around the Tampa Bay area.

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[Last modified: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 10:07am]

    

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