Enfield Will Appeal to Hold Graduations at Church

enfield aclu graduation church

The rollercoaster ride of not knowing where they’re going to graduate took a big dip for Enfield’s high school seniors.

The school board voted on Tuesday to reverse an earlier decision and will now appeal a temporary injunction, which banned the district from using this Bloomfield church for the two high school graduations.

"If we don’t appeal it, we’re somewhat saying we acknowledge or validate that opinion," said Enfield Board of Education Chairman Greg Stokes.

The lawsuit was brought on by the ACLU on behalf of a few students and their parents. The judge sided with them and ruled that using the First Cathedral Baptist Church was an unconstitutional endorsement of religion.

"I feel like the class of 2010 got punished from this whole thing, and it’s not really fair," said Amanda Barrosa, a senior at Fermi High School.

Even with the appeals process, students at Fermi and Enfield High will still be graduating at their two schools. If the graduations are held indoors, it could mean attendance limits, which the students and parents aren’t too happy about.

"I have family flying in from Kentucky, North Carolina to see me graduate, if it’s inside they won’t be able to," said Tyler Cunningham, a senior at Enfield High School.

"I wanted to have a lot of family there that now I’m not going to be able to have due to space and tickets, whereas Cathedral we would have been able to have a lot more people," said Alex Ginsberg, a senior at Fermi High School.

Many students are hopeful, though, that this appeal will bring change for future classes.

"I have a little sister that goes to the school right now and I hope the best for her when she graduates, I hope it’s nothing like this because what we have to go through right now is terrible," said Travis McNulty, an Enfield High School senior.

If a court grants an expedited appeal, the process could take one to two months. A regular appeal could last anywhere from six months to a year.

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