Officials of the Madison School District fear they may be hit with a court order banning prayer at the high school graduation, but they're looking for ways to continue the practice.
"We are looking at alternatives because we strongly believe we won't be able to have prayer at graduation," Superintendent Chris Mattocks told a regional school board meeting last Thursday. He said students could gather for a prayer 15 minutes before the ceremony, or they could hold a special service.Mattocks said even if the district wins the legal battle, the American Civil Liberties Union could get a court order halting prayer at the May ceremony during appeals.
The ACLU sued the district in November on behalf of two unidentified families. They claim the district is violating their constitutional rights by allowing prayer at graduation ceremonies and before athletic events.
Mattocks also said he is gratified that outgoing Attorney General Jim Jones decided to endorsing Rhode Island's bid to have the U.S. Supreme Court allow nondenominational prayer at school graduations.