FRANKLIN COUNTY, N.C. — Graduating seniors at Franklinton High shared a moment of silence at their graduation ceremony Saturday after the school board banned public prayer last month.
But several of the Franklin County students disagreed with the ban and decided to pray as a group outside instead.
“I was really upset to hear that we weren’t going be able to do our prayer, that we weren’t going be able to praise Jesus for how far we’ve come,” said graduating senior Vanessa Parker.
The Franklin County School Board voted on May 29 to no longer pray at all school-sponsored events after the ACLU sent them a letter saying it is unconstitutional.
The ban was sparked after a Franklinton High senior complained about a Christian-led prayer at an awards ceremony last month. The student’s mother contacted the American Civil Liberties Union.
“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.
Graduating student Dillon Baldridge was one of the several students who prayed separately.
“Being able to come out here and pray with the group was great, so it worked out,” he said.