FRANKLIN COUNTY, N.C. — A North Carolina high school voted to ban prayers at all school events after the ACLU told them that public prayer is unconstitutional.
The Franklin County School Board voted Tuesday night to no longer pray at all school-sponsored events including Franklinton High School’s upcoming graduation.
WTVD reported that the ban was sparked after a Franklinton High senior complained about a Christian-led prayer at an awards ceremony earlier this month.
The student’s parent complained to the American Civil Liberties Union which triggered Tuesday’s debate.
“They just wanted to be able to attend their commencement without feeling like an outcast,” said ACLU NC legal advisor Chris Brook, according to WTVD.
The ACLU sent a letter to board members warning that it is unconstitutional to compel students to pray at government or school sponsored events.
One school board member said prayer at graduation is a clear violation of separation of church and state.
The ban has received criticism from some in the community.
“I’m a Christian and I believe in God, and I don’t think it’s fair,” said Franklinton High School senior Joel Williams. “If someone complains that it’s taking away their rights, well, it’s taking away our rights to say a prayer in school.”