Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed suit against the Medina Valley Independent School District (near San Antonio) on Friday on behalf of a local family. The group is upset that the June 4 ceremony will include a student-led invocation and benediction. But according to the district, the two planned statements by students do not constitute official school positions and those students have a right to free speech.It is significant that the newly-formed Congress of our founders made it one of the first orders of business to appoint chaplains for the House and Senate. Nearly every session of the two chambers from day one have begun with a prayer.
“A disclaimer is printed in each graduation program that notes the content of each student speaker’s message is the private expression of the individual student and does not reflect the endorsement of the district,” school board president Roland Ruiz told the San Antonio Express.
Christa and Danny Schultz, the family behind the suit, and the Americans United group allege, however, that the school is breaking the law...
But the district isn’t backing down, according to Ruiz.
“It is sad that someone would choose the commencement exercises of the 50th anniversary of our school district as a forum for stirring political debate that threatens to needlessly cast a shadow of controversy over the pinnacle event of the class of 2011,” he said.