We’ll find out tonight during the Neptune High School graduation ceremony at the Ocean Grove Great Auditorium.
In case you missed it, the ACLU threaten to sue the Neptune Board of Education seeking to compel the end of the 70 year old tradition of holding the high school graduation at the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association’s glorious historical 3000 seat venue that hosts religious services and well as secular events.
Granny Breslow felt uncomfortable by the religious imagery, the convocation and hymns at her grand daughter’s graduation last year and contacted the ACLU to put a stop to it. Rather than litigate, the Neptune Board of Education negotiated a comprise that required no convocation, that religious banners in the auditorium would be covered and that the cross on the auditorium will not be lit before or during the ceremony.
The tradition was spared but many in the community were outraged that one out of town malcontent could bully the Board of Ed in to altering the ceremony at all. Many felt the Board should not have complied with any of the ACLU’s demands.
In the facebook group that was created to rally public support to keep the graduation at the Great Auditorium, much of the chatter since the deal was made with the ACLU has focused on bringing religious expression into the graduation ceremony. There has been talk of community members wearing necklaces with lit crosses and breaking out in prayer before, during and after the ceremony.
MMM supports the community members in making authentic religious expressions. They should avoid the temptation to hijack the graduation by turning it into an angry protest. Keep the focus on celebrating the accomplishments and the futures of the graduating high school seniors.