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Prayer Banned at Graduations After Atheist Group Complains


School-sponsored prayer is no longer allowed in a Massachusetts school district after a leading atheist group said it violates the constitution.

The decision to remove prayer came after a Christian minister publicly prayed for Canton High School's 2018 graduating class during the commencement ceremony.

During the invocation, Rev. John Tamilio III asked a "holy, loving, and most gracious God" to bless the graduating seniors, and that they would "serve others in service of you."

The Freedom from Religion foundation, an organization dedicated to ensuring religion stays out of state sponsored events, sent a letter to Canton Public Schools Superintendent Jennifer Fischer-Mueller demanding that religious rituals be banned from school events. 

They said prayer violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and cited previous Supreme Court rulings.

Fischer-Mueller complied and sent a letter to FFRF confirming that "steps have been taken to ensure that there will be no prayers or religious rituals" at any future graduation ceremonies or school-sponsored events.

This is not the first time FFRF has urged schools to stop public prayer. CBN News reported last month that a Michigan high school was convinced to prohibit the prayerful activities of those supporting the sick child of a local football coach.

When the four-year-old daughter of the Lake City High School football coach Kyle Smith became unwell with an acute intestinal infection, members of the school community rallied together to pray for the young girl as she was treated in hospital.

However, FFRF immediately contacted the school, telling them the prayer was unconstitutional because it took place on the school's football field.

Schools that do not comply with FFRF's commands risk facing a lawsuit.

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