Thu June 2, 2011
Texas Attorney General Fights for Prayer During Grad Ceremonies
Attorney General Greg Abbott is expected to file an amicus brief this afternoon challenging a court ruling that forbids prayer at a Medina Valley High School’s graduation.
The South Texas school district will file an emergency measure with the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in hopes of repealing the decision before the Saturday commencement. In a press conference Wednesday, Abbot said the ruling from Chief U.S. District Judge Fred Biery points to the “unraveling of moral values in this country today” and “an ongoing attempt to purge God from the public setting."
According to the San Antonio Express News, pending-graduate Corwin Schultz’ parents filed the initial lawsuit to remove prayer from the ceremony. The family is agnostic.
The order prohibits the district’s graduation from using a benediction, asking guests to bow their heads or “otherwise [delivering] a message that would commonly be understood to be a prayer.”
“The tilt against God is not mandated by the constitution, nor should it be required or enforced by the courts,” Abbott said.
Medina Valley ISD assistant superintendent Chris Martinez said the district has received an outpouring of support, including letters from citizens, and although the district will follow the ruling, he said he hopes the court will revisit its policies.