Despite a recent ruling by U.S. District Judge that directs a San Antonio-area school district not to have or say a prayer in their June 4 graduation ceremony, students and parents are planning on saying a massive oral prayer anyway.
“You don’t mess with God’s Country,” said one Castroville resident who would only give his first name as Tom. “That judge might be able to forbid the school district from having a prayer, but nothing is going to stop this town from standing up and saying the Lord’s Prayer.”
Less than 30 minutes west of San Antonio, the predominately Catholic and Protestant community in which the Medina Valley School district covers has been up in arms about the ruling this week.
District Judge Samuel Frederick Biery Jr., of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, ordered the school to remove prayer from the high school graduation ceremony. Biery also ruled that the school district must tell the students they may not attempt to lead their peers in prayer during the ceremony.
‘OH WE WILL PRAY’
“Oh, we will pray,” said Tom. “We are talking about this on Facebook, in our restaurants, in our schools and in our homes and we attend on letting America know our students can and will pray.”
Even Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is coming to the rescue of upset citizens by announcing this afternoon he will file an appeal the Court on Thursday.
The ruling by Judge Biery turns schools into a “speech police” Abbott argues and says the decision was unconstitutional by violating students First Amendment rights.
A group called Americans United filed Schultz v. Medina Valley Independent School District last month on behalf of the Danny and Christa Schultz family, who have two children attending schools there. One son plans to graduate at the commencement ceremony on June 4.
‘ABBOTT IS OUR HERO…WE NEED MORE TEXAS LEADERS LIKE HIM.’
“We have nothing against this family, but we have plenty to say and pray about our right to pray,” said Michael, another resident of Castroville. “Abbott is our hero and we need more Texas leaders like him to stand up for our rights.”
“Proponents may argue that the majority can’t take away the civil rights of the minority, but they are not going to take away our rights of speech and our desire to pray,” said Tom.
“The school district may have their hands tied, but we the people will decide, not a judge or that organization,” Tom continued.
Even school board president Roland Ruiz recently told the San Antonio Express and News that is “is sad that someone would choose the commencement exercises of the 50th anniversary of our school district as a forum for stirring political debate that threatens to needlessly cast a shadow of controversy over the pinnacle event of the class of 2011.”
For free email alerts for new articles by Jack Dennis, click “Subscribe” above. Jack can be reached at email@example.com.