Gentry School District Will Not Include Prayer At Future Graduation Ceremonies

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GENTRY (KFSM) -- A local superintendent decided to end all prayer at future graduation ceremonies after getting a letter from the freedom from religion foundation. He wanted the community to understand the decision he made.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, an organization based out Wisconsin, states that it is committed to the separation of church and state, according to its website.

The group stated the Supreme Court has ruled prayer at school events unconstitutional and that Gentry should have not included prayer in its ceremony.

The letter dated June 17 stated a citizen complained at the May 15th graduation ceremony that the program listed an invocation and benediction as part of the ceremony.

“Prayer has been student-led prayer...not from a staff member or administration, but from the students. It`s just been part of our ceremony for as long as I`ve been here,” said superintendent Randy Barrett.

He said the letter cited case law and rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court stating. Since public schools are agents of the state, they can't do anything that gives the impression of endorsing any religion.

“I`ve known that for some time, but I`ve also known for some time who the people are that make up the school district and I`ve never had a complaint in my time here,” said Barrett.

Barrett said he's surprised Gentry is even on someone`s radar for prayer at graduation.

At a school board meeting, Barrett announced his decision to end that part of the ceremony and said he wants the community to understand it was out of his control.

“This was not an action of the board nor was it a preference of mine. It was a simple matter of for a long time we`ve been doing this and nobody had an issue with it and now someone has ,” he said.

Barrett said students will never be told that they can't pray and that it cannot be part of a speech they are giving.

7 comments

  • The Patriot

    The ultimate goal of liberalism is to remove God from society altogether. You see, they want government to be your god. They don’t believe your rights come from God. Instead, they smugly assert that government gives you your rights. From cradle to grave, their objective is to control your entire lives. Don’t kid yourselves if you think these are far-fetched claims.

    • flagratification

      Or we’re trying to avoid the mindsets of “Our God for all” from certain countries we’ve been fighting in for the past 10+ years.

      Or, actually making guidelines to make Christians stick to their commands in Matthew 6:5 “”And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. ”

      Or maybe we’re just trying to avoid using a publicly funded school to push religion. How about the National Anthem at a public place, and you can keep your exultations in the pews?

    • Dan Christopher

      First of all, moron, there are TENS OF MILLIONS of Christian liberals. So why would TENS OF MILLIONS of Christians be trying to remove god? Doesn’t make much sense. Perhaps they are just smart enough to realize that not everyone believes in that stuff, and that our government entities BY LAW must be NEUTRAL with regard to religion, and therefore, people cannot be allowed to use tax-payer funded government property to promote one religion over another.

      Sorry, but the government DOES give us our rights. Until you can prove that a magical man in the sky is responsible (and NO, the Bible isn’t proof), then the ONLY thing we have is ourselves. Laws made by MAN. The Bible NEVER EVER EVER says anything about not being raped. In fact, in many places, your god actually condones rape, telling a woman that she must marry her rapist, and that during conquests the women are basically prizes for the men. Some “moral” sky daddy you have there. If your imaginary god was the only source of our freedoms and our rights, then women would have no right to walk down the street without getting raped. MAN made that possible, NOT magical sky daddy.

      But you can believe in whatever Bronze Age goat herder fairy tales you want. You just can’t ask the American tax-payer to foot the bill, which is what is occurring when publicly funded schools are praying on the taxpayer’s dime. Why can’t all of these Neanderthals pray in the car on the way over? If prayer actually worked (HAHAHAHAHA!!!), there’s no reason to stand in a room and do it together illegally, when they can just do it in their car.

    • Baron Suru

      “The ultimate goal of liberalism is to remove God from society altogether.”
      Wrong, if anything, it’s to remove it from government. But if that’s what you want, then I suggest a country with a theocratic government.
      In the US, our rights are derived from the people and “administered” through the SECULAR, GODLESS, Constitution, not from your imaginary sky-fairy.

      • bamadale

        We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. Rights are From God, power of government is from the people.

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