ACLU Sues Over Church Graduations

The ACLU is suing Enfield public schools over holding high school graduation in a Christian church.

The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Connecticut and Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed a lawsuit in federal court on Monday on behalf of two Enfield High School seniors and three of their parents.

The school has held the ceremony First Cathedral in Bloomfield.

The ACLU claims the location, replete with religious signs and symbols, violates the separation of church and state and the religious liberty rights of students.

“The Board of Education has unnecessarily decided to use taxpayers’ money to hold the graduation ceremonies in a church when comparable and affordable secular facilities are available,” said Andrew Schneider, Executive Director of the ACLU of Connecticut. “By endorsing one set of religious beliefs over any other, the board’s action has created a divisive atmosphere in Enfield where those with minority religious beliefs are afraid to speak out publicly.”

The ACLU says they would like to resolve the issue outside of court.

ACLU officials said that they decided to file suit seven weeks before graduation, so that the court has enough time to decide the case without the graduations being disrupted.

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