The Appignani Humanist Legal Center, part of the American Humanist Association, has filed a federal lawsuit to prevent Mountain View Elementary School in Taylors, South Carolina, from continuing to hold their elementary school graduations in a Christian chapel and include prayers in the ceremony.
After receiving a complaint from the parents of one of the school’s graduating 5th grade students, the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center on June 10, 2013 sent a letter to the superintendent and principal of Mountain View Elementary School in Taylors, SC, objecting to the unconstitutional nature of the ceremony. The letter warned of a possible lawsuit if corrective steps were not forthcoming, but the school district responded that no changes would be forthcoming.
The graduation was held on May 30, 2013 at North Greenville University. The official schedule of events called for prayers on two separate occasions as part of the ceremony, which took place in a large Christian worship space, adorned with crosses, stained glass and other religious elements. The university’s logo includes the sectarian phrase “Christ Makes the Difference.”
The suit reveals that prayers given by students during the 2013 graduation ceremony were solicited and approved by school administrators and were explicitly Christian. The suit also makes clear that other non-sectarian venues are available for future ceremonies, including the elementary school itself, as well as other nearby public schools and community centers.
You can read the legal complaint here.