Skip to comments.Arkansas School Cancels Graduation After Christian Prayers are Banned (Video)
Posted on 05/09/2013 1:57:57 PM PDT by Responsibility2nd
The Riverside School District, located in Lake City, Arkansas, recently announced the cancellation of its 6th grade graduation ceremonies after a parent objected to the inclusion of Christian prayers (video below).
According to FoxNews.com, the public school district made the decision after being contacted by the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), which said it was acting on behalf of an unidentified “concerned parent.”
Sixth grade parent Kelly Adams (pictured) said that a group of Christian parents are going to find a church that will host a substitute graduation with Christian prayers.
Adams told KAIT-TV that the town was "mainly Christian" and that "a lot of people were hurt that our rights were taken away."
“We just went to take a stand for God because we felt like out rights were taken away,” Adams added. “I realize they have rights too, but you can’t take rights away from one group and give it to another.”
“We are including everyone, everyone is invited [to the substitute graduation], we want everyone to come and be a part of it. We’re not trying to be pushy or ugly to anybody, we just want them to know there is a God who loves them.”
However, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that only student-led prayers are allowed in public schools, not prayers instigated by adults.
“Those campuses for the last several years had discussed whether we should continue with sixth grade graduation or not. The controversy arose out of this one. When it came to my attention, the board and I decided to go ahead and discontinue sixth grade graduations," Tommy Knight, the superintendent of the Riverside School District, told FoxNews.com.
“It makes no difference how many families want prayer or wouldn’t be offended by prayer at their graduation ceremony,” FFRF attorney Patrick Elliott stated. “The Supreme Court has settled this matter. School graduations must be secular to protect the freedom of conscience of all students.”
Source: KAIT-TV and FoxNews.com
Actually, a little tolerance on the part of the “unidentified concerned parent” is what I’d prefer.
Good for them, and when asked they must say ONE parent complained that there would be a blessing over the children.
Excellent, excellent, do not cave.
No this is NOT an excellent solution. They are cratering to the jerk who complained. They should say go ahead, cancel the ceremony, and then publicize the name of the jerk who did the complaining. And I mean have that person's name on every local tv and radio station and in the newspaper. Let that person's neighbors know who caused their children to miss a milestone in their young life.
Our biggest complaint with the Republican party is they also cower before any democrat. This is the same type of action.
I can pray without anyone realizing it.
Can’t ban that.
They should find the name of this “concerned parent”, and expose them. These people are such cowards, running to FFRF.
I hope everyone shows up at the church and expose the lie about the “one parent who complained”.
No this is NOT an excellent solution.
You just posted the solution the residents came up with. So how is this NOT an excellent solution???
My guess is that parent doesn’t exist. This Freedom From Religion group enjoys spoiling events like this. I see nothing in the article that says the prayer was not going to be student led.
Keep an eye on this one. The school may try to get an injunction to prevent the church from having the “graduation” because the child of the complaining parent might get “bullied” after they don’t show up.
I still can’t figure out WHY there are “6th grade graduations” in the first place.....sheesh.
Everyone knows who the complainer is.
I thought you graduated upon finishing high school.
I have asked before and ask again why is the exercise of the First Amendment (free speech and free exercise of religion) prohibited on public property? If the Bill of Rights is not applicable to public property, then what is the point?
Posts like yours are exactly why FR needs a LIKE button.
I know, right?
It’s all about feeling good. And everyone gets special recognition. If they could find a way to award all them the valedictorian...
But hey... This is some small town. And they have Christian values. These are the kind of people that made America great. God bless ‘em.
This is Arkansas. This is a good as they get.
Mr. Elliott needs an ass kicking, Texas style.
They should have called their bluff.
He probably deserves it but shunning of him and his whole fam damily would be appropriate.
I wonder how this person can allow themselves to use American Currency with “In God We Trust “ Embalzonied on the currency to fill their everyday needs?
These Idiots are fine until it’s time to make a stink!
I think the Class should have opted for a Prayer Vigil at the local church in replacement of the graduation and recognized these graduating kids of their accomplishments and give awards there with a wonderful ice cream party!
Mr. & Mrs. Grumble Butts could stay home with their would be offended Kid and eat Cheezy Poofs!
I’ve been to Lake Village and it’s a wonderful little town.
Who gives a crap what the SCOTUS says? The Constitution is clear: "CONGRESS shall make no law..." States can do as they please, thanks to the 10th Amendment. All the AK Gov. needs to do is nullify any Federal rulings.
That’s what they should do, nullify. No adult has to surrender his or her rights just because they work for government. Nor do they need approval from government for what they say. This horse crap has to be brought to an end. If they can nullify for guns, they can nullify for God (religious freedom of course).
If there was a parent objecting, I wonder if they have the cajones to skip the graduation?
“ONE parent complained that there would be a blessing over the children.”
Would that one parent have preferred a cursing or damnation be said over the children? I mean a blessing full of goodness, how evil. . . it isn’t.
“What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter.” Isaiah 5:20
Is there a law that prevents the complainer’s name from being public information?
I think the parents were exactly right in doing things this way, as they win across the board, and the hothead, if there was one, and their child, get nothing out of the deal.
And the best part is that, if they and their child don’t show up, everybody knows that they are malcontents, so in future they should be excluded from any event where they might make themselves an oppressive nuisance again.
If that means they miss out on all sorts of fun, well how about that?
Ditto. In my day it was called “finishing the 6th grade.” Technically every move up in “grade” is, by definition, an “grad-uation,” but ceremonies are reserved for conferral of credentials (a diploma). This “6th grade graduation” stuff is part of the “participation trophy” generation.
Please note that this issue is a tangle of constitutional problems, so please bear with my explanation.
Partly as a consequence of parents not making sure that their children are taught the differences between the legislative, executive and judicial branches of the federal and state governments, the misguided Supreme Court is getting away with legislating from the bench on prayer issues like this one imo.
More specifically, first note that regardless what FDR's activist justices wanted everybody to beileve about the Establishment Clause and Thomas Jefferson's "wall of separation," the real Thomas Jefferson had clarified the following about the religious aspects of the 1st and 10th Amendments. Jefferson had noted that the Founding States had made the 10th Amendment in part to clarify that the states had reserved government power to regulate (I say cultivate) religious expression to themselves, regardless that they had also made the 1st Amendment in part to prohibit such power to Congress entirely.
"3. Resolved that it is true as a general principle and is also expressly declared by one of the amendments to the constitution that the powers not delegated to the US. by the constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively or to the people: and that no power over the freedom of religion, freedom of speech, or freedom of the press being delegated to the US. by the constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, all lawful powers respecting the same did of right remain, & were reserved, to the states or the people: that thus was manifested their determination to retain to themselves the right of judging how far the licentiousness of speech and of the press may be abridged without lessening their useful freedom, and how far those abuses which cannot be separated from their use should be tolerated rather than the use be destroyed (emphasis added); " --Thomas Jefferson, Kentucky Resolutions, 1798.
So given that the states have the power to regulate religion, the same power that enables the states to authorize creationism to be taught in public schools, there would have been no question up to the time that the 14th Amendment was ratified that Christian prayers at a graduation are constituitonal.
H O W E V E R ...
The 14th Amendment ultimately gave FDR's anti-religious expression justices a foothold to argue that 14A applied the 1st Amendment's prohibition on Congress's power to regulate religion to the states. This is evidenced by the following excerpt from Cantwell v. Connecticut.
"The First Amendment declares that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. The Fourteenth Amendment has rendered the legislatures of the states as incompetent as Congress to enact such laws. The constitutional inhibition of legislation on the subject of religion has a double aspect." --Mr. Justice Roberts, Cantwell v. State of Connecticut, 1940.
H O W E V E R ...
By arguing that 14A took away certain powers from the states, in this case the power to address religious issues which "atheist" Thomas Jefferson had clarified that they had, activist justices wrongly ignored the following. They ignored that John Bingham, the main author of Section 1 of 14A, had officially clarified that 14A took away no state's rights.
"The adoption of the proposed amendment will take from the States no rights (emphasis added) that belong to the States." --John Bingham, Appendix to the Congressional Globe, 1866. (See second half of first column.)
"No right (emphasis added) reserved by the Constitution to the States should be impaired " --John Bingham, Appendix to the Congressional Globe, 1871. (See first half of first column.)
"Do gentlemen say that by so legislating we would strike down the rights of the State? God forbid. I believe our dual system of government essential to our national existance." --John Bingham, Appendix to the Congressional Globe. (See second half of third column.)
In fact, note that Justice Reed had noted the following about the 10th and 14th Amendments. Justice Reed had indicated that it is the job of judges to balance 10A protected state powers with 14A protected rigts.
"Conflicts in the exercise of rights arise and the conflicting forces seek adjustments in the courts, as do these parties, claiming on the one side the freedom of religion, speech and the press, guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment, and on the other the right to employ the sovereign power explicitly reserved to the State by the Tenth Amendment to ensure orderly living without which constitutional guarantees of civil liberties would be a mockery." --Justice Reed, Jones v. City of Opelika, 1942.
So the states still have the power to regulate religion regardless what activist justices want every to think about 14A, state power to regulate religion now limited by 14A as opposed to the idea that 14A took away such power. The problem is that regardless that Christian parents / guardians are making sure that their children are being taught the Holy Bible, Christians are evidently not making such that their children are being taught the law of the land as constitutonal lawmakers had intended for it to be understood.
By the time kids graduate from high school, they’ve already “graduated” from pre-school, kindergarten, sixth grade, and junior high. When it comes time for the high school ceremony, it’s “old cap-and-gown.”
No I did not post the solution. The solution done by the school was to move the ceremony to a church. Then somebody said that was an excellent solution.
I said that was not an excellent solution. That is giving a distinct minority the power to rule the vast majority.
My alternative solution would be to hold the ceremony at the school. Announce that some individual did not want a Christian prayer. And in order to be fair to everybody attending have a an athiest prayer, an agnostic prayer, Jewish prayer, a Christian prayer, a Hindu prayer, a Muslim prayer, a Shinto prayer, a Navajo prayer, a Wickan prayer, etc., etc., etc.
And after 30 or 40 minutes of prayer have a moment of silence and then announce the school feels this satisfies any complaints about the ceremony, especially those of "John/Jane Doe" (substituting the actual name of the person.
I agree, does this parent or child exist? When my children were in grade school there were several different representatives from various religious affiliations speaking and or leading prayers during special events at the public school. Never a problem then, why now? I do believe that the “FFRP” is just another group out to silence religious expression of any kind in this country. God help the next generation of children.
Apparently the ONE parent did feel that was more appropriate.
Insane. They think the little angels able enough to handle political discussions, sports discussions, philosophical discussions, science discussions, literature discussions, etc.
"Oh no" said grief-stricken democrat mom, "Poor Johnny is being turned into a CONSERVATIVE by that conservative-speaking History teacher." Don't hear that too much, do you?
The Supreme Court ruled we must protect his conscience, not everyone's FREE SPEECH and FREE EXERCISE.
Therefore, Scotus is wrong and religion is uniquely set apart and disadvantaged compared to other influences. That is discrimination.
Why are there sixth grade ‘graduations’ anyway?