Opp City schools to receive assistance in fighting antireligion attack
By Emannuella Ellis
An Alabama school district could be facing a federal lawsuit for including religion in their graduation ceremony.
A Montgomery based foundation for Moral Law has offered their assistance in ensuring that Opp City Schools survive an alleged state violation for including prayers, Bible readings, and a message from a local preacher during their commencement and baccalaureate services.
On June 5 the Opp city schools Superintendent, Michael Smithart, received a notification from the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) with a claim of a violation of the First Amendment. The schools are alleged to violate the separation of church and state mandate because its baccalaureate service which took place on school property, commenced with a prayer and contained religious elements.
However, Supt. Smithart received a letter seven days later from the Foundation for Moral Law which is dedicated to the defense of the right to acknowledge God in the public sector. In the letter, the Senior Counsel, John Eidsmoe, noted that holding a baccalaureate service in the Verbena High School auditorium has been approved in 1991 by Judge Myron Thompson of the Middle District of Alabama. Graduation prayers can also be made constitutionally with proper disclaimers, Eidsmoe argued.
The foundation further offered its assistance to ensure that graduation services of the school meets all its legal requirement. “The Foundation for Moral Law stands ready to defend the right of Opp students and their families to invoke the blessing of God on their graduation.” Foundation President Kayla Moore stated.
“The FFRF claims to support ‘freedom from religion,’ but in reality, they seek to force their religion of secularism upon the entire nation.” Moore stated.
Superintendent Smithart declined to comment on the issue at a Tuesday night school board meeting.
Photo: Opp City Schools graduation ceremony (Courtesy Facebook)