For Immediate Release
Merrill Miller, 202-238-9088 ext. 105, firstname.lastname@example.org
Monica Miller, 202-238-9088 ext. 120, email@example.com
(Greenville, SC, May 19, 2015)—Attorneys at the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center will appeal yesterday’s ruling by the United States District Court of South Carolina, which upheld a public school district’s practice of permitting the delivery of Christian prayers at graduation ceremonies.
“It’s a sad day when the courts allow students to be subjected to Christian prayers during what should be a secular graduation ceremony,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association. “These prayers exclude kids and families of minority faiths and no faith.”
The Court’s ruling partially favors the American Humanist Association by enjoining the school district’s prayer policy prior to 2013, which explicitly included prayer. However, the ruling still allows the Greenville County School District to include Christian prayers at public school graduations.
“Federal courts have been unanimous in determining that prayers at public school graduations are unconstitutional,” said Monica Miller, an attorney with the Appignani Humanist Legal Center. “It’s alarming that the District Court upheld permitting Christian prayers to be delivered to impressionable young children in a Christian venue.”
The lawsuit was filed in September 2013 by the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center on behalf of a local humanist family, who objected to the religious nature of a graduation event held on May 30, 2013.
A copy of the judgement can be viewed here.
Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., the American Humanist Association (AHA) works to protect the rights of humanists, atheists, and other non-religious Americans. The AHA advances the ethical and life-affirming philosophy of humanism, which—without beliefs in any gods or other supernatural forces—encourages individuals to live informed and meaningful lives that aspire to the greater good of humanity.
Special thanks to the Louis J. Appignani Foundation for their support of the Appignani Humanist Legal Center.