Commencement of Controversy

, Tony Perkins, Leave a comment

By May 28, seniors at Greenwood High School will have passed all of their classes, but according to the local school board, they still face an important test: to pray or not to pray? The Indiana district knows where its students stand. At a meeting in the auditorium last September, a majority of seniors voted in favor of student-led prayer at this year’s graduation ceremony. Unfortunately, the class valedictorian, Eric Workman, did not. And with the help of the ACLU, he intends to do something about it. In hopes of killing the decades-long tradition, Workman filed a lawsuit against the district.

If he expected the school to roll over and give in to the legal challenge, he was mistaken. “For us to just kowtow and just say, ‘Yes, sir. Sorry, sir,’ well, we’re not going to do that,” said Joe Farley, school board president. “This board is prepared to take on the courts.” During an interview with the local media, Farley told reporters that they’re willing to spend thousands and thousands of dollars to protect this right in court. “…[You] don’t want to put [taxpayer] funds at risk. But there just comes a time when you just have to stand up,” he said.

The month before the graduation, the first round of arguments is expected to be heard in Indiana’s federal Southern District. How the court will rule is uncertain. And while it may temporarily silence students, it cannot silence us. Join us in praying that God would embolden the community to stand behind Greenwood and help fight for its students. For more on this story, don’t miss FRC’s Cathy Ruse, who appeared on Fox News this morning. You can watch her interview by clicking here.

Tony Perkins heads the Family Research Council. This article is excerpted from the Washington Update that he compiles for the FRC.


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