For Immediate Release
Indiana High School Student Fighting Graduation Prayer Tradition
WASHINGTON - When
18-year-old Eric Workman was asked to vote on whether or not to have a
student-led prayer at his high school graduation ceremony, it didn’t
On March 11, 2010, the ACLU of Indiana filed suit on Eric’s behalf challenging the constitutionality
of Greenwood High School’s practice of having its seniors vote to have
a graduation prayer. According to the lawsuit, students at the high
school were asked to fill out a questionnaire on whether or not
students wanted a prayer. When the majority of students checked the box
for prayer, Eric contacted the ACLU of Indiana to prevent that from
who happens to be the valedictorian of his class, does not believe that
anyone should involuntarily be subjected to prayer and religious
beliefs. The case, Workman v. Greenwood Community School Corporation, argues
that both the prayer and process of allowing students to vote on
whether or not to have a prayer violates the First Amendment.
can't have a vote whether or not to violate somebody's constitutional
rights," says ACLU of Indiana Legal Director Ken Falk. "It just doesn't
work that way."
As the valedictorian, Eric plans to attend and speak at his graduation ceremony, which is scheduled to take place May 28.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.