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.