Court lifts ban on graduation prayer
POSTED: Friday, June 3, 2011 - 3:37pm
UPDATED: Friday, June 3, 2011 - 8:32pm
SAN ANTONIO — (AP) - A federal appeals court has lifted a ban on public prayer at a Texas high school graduation.
The ruling Friday reverses the decision of a lower court that sided with an agnostic family who sued the school district.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Medina Valley Independent School District.
The ruling allows students at the high school to say the words "amen" and invite the audience to pray during Saturday's graduation ceremony.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Christa and Danny Schultz, whose son is graduating. The family's suit was being backed by the Washington-based Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
The Schultzes claim traditions at graduation, including the invocation and benediction, excluded their beliefs and violated their constitutional rights.