Atheist Group Threatens To Sue Principal for Praying To Jesus during Graduation

A Georgia principal who gave Christian prayers at two graduation ceremonies could face fines now that an atheist group is targeting the school.

The American Humanist Association says Primary School Principal Lisa Patterson gave two prayers which ended with “In Jesus’ name we pray” at graduation ceremonies at the end of the last school year. An angry parent teamed up with the group which has threatened to sue the school and the principal if they do not agree to do away with the prayer for their next graduation ceremony.

The AHA is also alleging that a sign with “Jesus” written on it is on school grounds and must be taken down, or else they’ll likely sue.

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Monica Miller, a lawyer for the AHA’s legal branch, told The Daily Caller News Foundation that it would be “shocking” if the school doesn’t back down because they have clearly violated the Establishment clause.

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“One can only infer that the school district or the school board is saying ‘we support Christianity’ when they see that sign there,” Miller told TheDCNF. “I assume the case would involve suing the principal and other officials involved in their personal capacity as well as their professional capacity.”

A parent of a second-grader at Rabun County Elementary School attended a graduation ceremony May 19, during which the parent says the principal gave a lengthy prayer that ended with “In Jesus’ name we pray.”

The parent attended the Kindergarten graduation ceremony a little over a week later, and the same principal gave a similar prayer ending with “in Jesus’ name we pray.”

The angry parent complained to the school and then reached out to AHA. The group sent a letter to the school demanding the sign be taken down and the praying stop.

“Federal circuit courts have been nearly unanimous in concluding that prayers delivered at primary and secondary public school graduations violate the Establishment Clause, even when they are student-initiated and student-led,” the letter reads.

The school’s principal and superintendent did not return requests for comment in time for publication.


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