The American Civil Liberties Union has decided not to make a last-minute appeal to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in a bid to stop graduation prayer in Alpine School District.

Instead, the ACLU will file a lengthy "friend-of-the-court" brief with the U.S. Supreme Court supporting the "no prayer" position in the Rhode Island school prayer case."The Supreme Court needs to hear about a school district where for 79 years students have been forced to participate in the religious practices of the predominant religion and local officials justify it on the grounds of `tradition,' " said Michele Parish, director of the Utah affiliate of the ACLU.

The ACLU concluded that even though U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Greene's refusal to prohibit prayer in Alpine was a disappointment, his mandate that the prayers be non-denominational was a step in the right direction.

The ACLU, along with teachers and students who sought the injunction, "feel that after 79 years of `traditional' Mormon prayers in the Alpine School District, a change to the `non-denominational, non-proselytizing, voluntary prayer' anticipated by Judge Greene would be a small step away from the religious coercion practiced in the name of tradition for so many decades," Parish said in a press release sent to all media Friday afternoon.