Tenn. School Asks Church to Replace Prayer with ‘Welcome Message’

There’s big trouble in my own backyard – Germantown, Tennessee.

The school district was supposed to hold a commencement ceremony for Houston Middle School at Harvest Church.

The school district typically uses large church buildings to accommodate the crowd of moms, dads, grandmas and grandpas. So, that wasn’t the issue.

Harvest Church said they were happy to host the school, but under the stipulation that a prayer would be offered at the opening of the ceremony.

Multiple sources told KWAM NewsTalk Memphis that a LGBT staff member was especially upset that the commencement ceremony was being held in an evangelical church.

However, Germantown Municipal School District spokesperson denied that report. The district said it was a parent who complained.

“It is true that a parent reached out with concerns over a corporate prayer at the event, not the venue itself,” the spokesperson told KWAM.

Sources say the parent threatened to bring in attorneys if the graduation event was not relocated.

“The administration reached out to the venue and asked if they would consider replacing the corporate prayer with either a moment of silence, a welcome message, or what other venues typically provide for these types of events,” the district spokesperson told the radio station. “The venue declined.”

Well, good for the leaders at Harvest Church! They did what any good and decent evangelical congregation would do.

The school district told KWAM that “school districts, by federal law, cannot have a corporate prayer as a part of a ceremony.”

Instead of an air-conditioned and comfortable ceremony, the middle schoolers and their families ended up packed inside a small, stuffy gymnasium.

To make matters even worse, students were limited to only a handful of tickets. In other words, grandma got kicked out to the curb.

So what does the law say?

Well, I checked with the Department of Education and it turns out prayer is perfectly legal at school graduations. School leaders may not mandate or organize the prayer, but that’s the only stipulation.

Should prayers be allowed at public school commencement exercises?

Never in a million years would I have imagined that my little conservative town would be at the center of a religious liberty fight.

The school system literally told a church that prayers could not be offered inside the sanctuary. Even the godless progressives who run New York City schools would not be so brazen.

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