Kansas High School Principal Agrees to Stop Telling Graduates Faith and Jesus Lead to Success After Freedom From Religion Foundation Complains

A high school principal in Kansas has agreed to stop encouraging graduates of the school to look to faith and Jesus to find success after the Freedom From Religion Foundation complained about it.

In his complaint, Christopher Line, a Patrick O’Reiley Legal Fellow with the FFRF, expressed concern about references made to God and faith at the May 20 graduation ceremony of Great Bend High School by Principal Tim Friess. The Great Bend Tribune reported that the references concern an analogy that Friess has discussed at several graduation ceremonies over time pointing to the unpredictability of the proverbial road to success.

“But, if you have a spare tire called Faith and most importantly, a driver called Jesus, you will make it to a place called Success!” Friess reportedly said.

His opening remarks, which say, “… thank God for the beautiful day that He has blessed us with …” and his closing remarks, “… may God bless each of you,” were also singled out as concerning.

“High school graduations and other school-sponsored events must be secular to protect the freedom of conscience of all students,” Line argued, citing the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

“This is a violation of students’ right of conscience and of the trust that parents have placed in the District to educate their children without encroaching on their right to raise their family in whatever religion they choose, or no religion.”

Responding to the complaint in a June 8, letter, Great Bend School District Attorney Mark A. Rondeau of the firm Watkins Calcara, Chtd. noted that district officials discussed the complaint with Friess and he agreed that his speech was not in accordance with district policies and promised not to violate them again.

Line celebrated the response as a “victory for the separation of state and church,” according to the Great Bend Tribune.

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Source: Christian Post

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