In the May 25 letter to school board attorney James T. Hundley, ACLU lawyers Jeffery M. Pollock and Seval Yildirim said although they “continue to have general concern with a public school graduation ceremony being held at a facility with a large cross on the front of the building, we are also appreciative of both your efforts as well as that of the Board of Education to amicably resolve the dispute at issue.”
The compromise requires the district to cover a religious sign on a choir door entrance and the nation’s longest running electric signs that read “Holiness to the Lord” and “So be ye Holy” as well as keep the signature 20-foot illuminated exterior white cross dark during commencements. All hymn, prayers and religious content have been removed from the ceremony, Schools Superintendent David A. Mooij has said.
Geez, is holding a graduation in a church's auditorium (it's the only place in town big enough to hold graduation, and it's been held there for 70 years) an establishment of religion?
A comment under the picture in the article is what really caught my attention:
The Neptune High School graduation ceremony is slated for 7 p.m. June 17 at the Great Auditorium. The agreement with the ACLU requires students and guests to enter through the historic buildings back and side doors to avoid its signature 20-foot white cross illuminated during evening hours.So no one even has to see the cross outside, everyone has to enter through side and back doors. Doesn't that sound just a bit silly? But again, the ACLU had to do something.
OK, you ask, would I be happy if my graduation were held in the local union hall? There'd be pro-labor, probably socialist sayings on the walls, things like that. Well, I certainly wouldn't like going into a union hall, but since I wouldn't be there to sing the Internationale and wouldn't be hearing speeches extolling the virtues of socialism, I would probably survive. (Yes, that's sarcasm--I'd have no trouble with it at all.) Of course, we could keep changing the scenario to make it more and more uncomfortable--pictures of Karl Marx and Che Guevara, for example--until eventually we'd cross some line, but that doesn't seem to be the case in the current story, unless, of course, you just cannot tolerate even seeing a cross.
Whoever complained about this and got the ACLU involved--are you happy? Are you satisfied? Did you get what you wanted?