Update: Shelby County graduation & prayer 2

This from the Courier-Journal: Shelby County school officials have decided to omit formal prayers from the June 2 graduation ceremonies, following a complaint from a student and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

The school “will be compliant with the law and also provide a respectful and dignified program for all students,” he said a day after meeting in closed session with the Board of Education and a lawyer — while residents held a prayer vigil outside.

Kidwell added that traditional prayers at a school banquet and an awards ceremony also will not be held.

The student who filed the complaint is Arshiya Saiyed, a 17-year-old Muslim woman. She told the C-J that there were other students at Shelby County High School who agreed with her.

Her complaint and the fact that she is Muslim have brought out the worst in conservative commentators and bloggers. Just a quick search on www.technorati.com turned up reams of invective against Saiyed, Muslims, the ACLU and the so-called “War on Christianity.” She’s a brave young woman and I wish her well. (She will also attend my daughter’s college next year, so Saiyed also has good taste.)

Whether there will be no prayers at all during the ceremony remains to be seen. Students at Russell County High School recited part of the Lord’s Prayer and the student chaplain referred to religion in her address, defying a court order to omit prayers from the ceremony. One hopes that Shelby County’s seniors will be more respectful, or at least less belligerent.

ROCK, the conservative Christian group that organized the prayer vigil, may also be planning some sort of protest at the ceremony. Again, one hopes they can respect the decision of the Shelby County schools and keep their noses out of other people’s business.

Hope springs eternal.

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2 thoughts on “Update: Shelby County graduation & prayer

  1. Reply Darcy May 30,2006 2:52 pm

    you know, Arshiya’s sister, Gulu, went to Tulane, but after the hurricane came to Centre…so I kinda sorta know Gulu

    crazy KKK stuff, man.

  2. Reply Hina Saiyed Apr 30,2007 7:57 pm

    I guess I heard about this a little late! I googled my last name thinking for
    sure that I would find something about me, the rebel of the Saiyed clan, but
    that wasn’t the case at all. I found my sweetest, smartest, cutest, most mannered
    cousin there is, and read that she was being disrespected for excersising her
    rights as an AMERICAN. An American that lives and breathes education and respect
    in order to better her life as an AMERICAN. Born and raised, I guess all the
    retaliation is a proven fact of who’s ignorant, and who’s not?????

    Rock on sister, and may you be the first female minority president.
    And everyone else, do a little reading about Islam, and you’ll realize that the
    old testament was the basis of all religion in the world! and I mean all

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