Prayers Offensive to Atheists

A school in Indiana had a tradition of having prayers during kindergarten graduation ceremonies. But, it changed after an intervention from the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation, an atheistic organisation. 
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This organisation received a complained from parents of one of the students about those prayers at the graduation ceremony for five and six year old children. Therefore, it sent a letter to Tony Whitaker, the superintendent of Springs Valley Community Schools. 

This organisation’s lawyer, Ryan Jayne said that prayers at this school were inappropriate and coercive. But, it is not clear what he meant by that, especially as prayers are not coercive considering that a prayer is a conversation of a person with God. Nevertheless, he also argued that school events must be secular to ensure respect of freedom of conscience of all students.  

Furthermore, parents are responsible for religious or non- religious upbringing of their children, as he says. It is a point with which everyone will certainly agree which can lead one to conclude that there should be no lessons about homosexuality, gender and anticonception because parents of pupils may want to teach them about these things from a religious perspective. 

Nevertheless, the school decided to quit the practice of conducting prayers during any future graduation ceremonies. 

But, one would argue that parents of those student should decide by majority whether to conduct Christian prayers, prayers of other religions or whether to lead a secular ceremony. One can find it surprising that one parent’s view was sufficient to eliminate tradition of prayers at that school.

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