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Prayer ending at high school graduations

Chatham County Schools Superintendent Robert Logan has given an explanation for action canceling prayer at upcoming high school graduation exercises.

A national watchdog organization backing the separation of church and state sent the school administration a cease-and-desist order threatening a lawsuit if prayer was not eliminated from the programs.

The county school board, in executive session June 3, discussed the letter and instructed the school’s attorney to send an answer.

The board has taken no announced action on the matter.

This came about before two high school students spoke in opposition to prayer at the graduation ceremonies.

Since then,Logan has ordered there to be no prayer at Chatham County graduations.

He told The Chatham News Thursday morning that the contents of the cease-and-desist letter would be released as soon as the attorney’s answer was made.

Two JM students ask BOE to remove prayer from graduation ceremony

Two Jordan-Matthews’ seniors made a request that prayer be removed from graduation ceremonies during the public input session at Monday night’s Board of Education meeting.

Michael Thorpe, a graduating senior at Jordan-Matthews, asked that student-led prayer be removed from the graduation ceremony.

Thorpe said that prayer infringes on the rights of the students and is unconstitutional.

Prayer during the graduation would make it a non-secular event, Thorpe said.

Fellow Jordan-Matthews’ senior Luis Lucas-Tzun also opposes prayer during the graduation ceremony.

Lucas-Tzu said that prayer during graduation is an overt violation of the separation of church and state. He stated that prayer cites Christian scripture and the Christian god and does not acknowledge all gods.

Instead, Lucas-Tzu said that the graduation ceremony should only commemorate hard work and achievement.

The members of the Board of Education thanked them for their input and no action was taken on the matter.

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