A national atheist organization has sent a letter of complaint to an Alabama school district where a principal’s speech at a high school graduation ceremony included a prayer, scripture reading, and references to God. The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation, which touts itself as the nation’s largest atheist organization, sent a letter to Opp City Schools on Monday regarding the religious elements at the graduation ceremony held last month at Opp High School.
FFRF staff attorney Sam Grover told Opp City Schools Superintendent Michael Smithart that the group learned of the religious aspects of the ceremony via a “concerned district community member.” “The establishment clause of the First Amendment prohibits public schools from sponsoring any type of religious practice,” wrote Grover. “The Supreme Court has continually struck down prayers at school-sponsored events, including public school assemblies and graduations.” Grover said the baccalaureate held at Opp High School was a religious program and therefore should not have had school backing. READ MORE