With graduation season upon us, the news begins again of school districts forbidding graduation prayer. But, one valedictorian, Angela Hildenbrand of Medina Valley High School near San Antonio, Texas, challenged U.S. District Judge Fred Biery’s ruling that prohibited Angela from praying or mentioning God at graduation.
Christa and Danny Schultz, parents of Corwyn Schultz who is a graduating senior at Medina and professes to be an agnostic, filed a lawsuit against the school district to prevent prayers at their son’s graduation because it would cause him “irreparable harm.” Corwyn threatened to not attend graduation if other students were allowed to pray. Judge Biery agreed with the Schultzes and said if the school held an official invocation and benediction it would be school sponsorship of religion. He ruled that no one could pray, or mention prayer, or say "amen."
The school district and Angela, as well as Attorney General Greg Abbott and the Liberty Institute, filed emergency appeals with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Gov. Rick Perry and U.S. Sen. John Cornyn publicly decried the ruling and, at the eleventh hour last Friday, the 5th Circuit intervened and granted an emergency appeal — Angela was allowed to pray. Corwyn did not attend the event.
News of the controversy even reached Texas Governor Rick Perry who criticized Judge Biery’s ruling as “reprehensible” and demonstrating “the increasing inappropriate federal encroachment into the lives of Americans …”
Angela said, “It has been interesting to learn about the law process and to experience the media relations, but most of all a great testament to the faithfulness of God.” To read, or see the video of Angela’s prayer, visit CitizenLink.com.
Although Medina Valley Independent School District won the emergency appeal on graduation prayer, the lawsuit is not over yet and is pending in federal court. [ChristianPost.com, CitizenLink.com]