Alliance Defense Fund advising educators
PHOENIX – The Alliance Defense Fund is advising all state boards of education and state education associations how school officials can develop constitutionally sound policies to allow baccalaureate services and student-initiated prayers at graduation.
In a legal memo distributed this week, ADF explains that the U.S. Constitution does "not require the banning of baccalaureate services or student-initiated, student-led prayers at graduation." (An electronic copy of the memo is attached to this email.)
"If public school officials follow the right legal guidelines, their school should be able to allow constitutionally sound baccalaureates and student-led prayer at graduations anywhere in the country," said Chief Counsel for ADF Benjamin W. Bull.
Along with legal analysis of baccalaureate services, the memo provides specific legal criteria derived from federal appellate court opinions for schools to enact constitutional graduation prayer policies. The memo even provides guidance for navigating the constitutional minefield of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. "Students do not abandon their constitutional rights of free speech when they attend public school," the memo argues.