Officials at a Pennsylvania school district dropped support for a religious service and ended official prayer during its high school graduation ceremony after receiving a letter from Americans United's Legal Department.
The Greencastle-Antrim High School had for years been working with a local ministerial group to organize a baccalaureate service and was promoting it through school channels. Officials moved to make the event entirely private after receiving I AU's letter. They also decided to replace a prayer during the graduation ceremony with a moment of silence.
Superintendent Kendra Trail told the Hagerstown, Md., Herald-Mail that district officials consulted with their legal counsel and decided to turn the baccalaureate over to the Greencastle-Antrim Ministerium.
"I feel that our attorney does agree with what we've done," Trail said. "We've done our best to make sure we're following the law, but also providing the opportunity for people to have a moment of silence to reflect the way they individually would like to do so."
The district's former superintendent, Greg Hoover, told the newspaper the district had a long tradition of helping to organize the baccalaureate. He also implied that the district's...