A organization has filed a lawsuit that would stop a Greenville County school from holding graduation ceremonies at a Christian university.
A Washington-based organization has filed a lawsuit that would stop a Greenville County school from holding graduation ceremonies at a Christian university.
In a prepared release, the American Humanist Association announced they have filed suit in U.S. District Court to stop Mountain View Elementary School from holding fifth grade graduation ceremonies in the chapel at North Greenville University. The organization cited a complaint from a student's parent about the "unconstitutional nature" of the graduation ceremonies as the reason for the lawsuit.
"The federal courts have been clear that events like these violate the constitutional principle of separation of church and state," said Monica Miller, an attorney and legal consultant with the Appignani Humanist Legal Center. "Any event sponsored by a public school must not violate that principle."
The statement from the group cites, "the call for prayer on two separate occasions during the ceremony and the fact that it took place in a Christian worship place, adorned with crosses, stained glass and other religious elements."
The lawsuit claims that prayers given by students during the graduation were solicited and approved by school administrators and were Christian. The suit also says that other non-sectarian venues are available for future ceremonies.
The organization states that they sent a letter to the school's principal, Jennifer Gibson, and Greenville County School District Superintendent Burke Royster warning of the possibility of a lawsuit in June if no changes were made.