The American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit on Wednesday against the Enfield Board of Education over its decision to hold graduation ceremonies in a local Christian church. WNPR’s Diane Orson reports.
The lawsuit charges that Enfield’s decision to hold graduation ceremonies at The First Cathedral in Bloomfield violates the separation of church and state, and the religious liberty rights of students. First Cathedral is a large evangelical megachurch with religious iconography, including five large Christian crosses and a banner that reads “Jesus Christ is Lord”. Andrew Schneider is executive director of the ACLU in CT..
"They’ve unnecessarily decided to use taxpayer money to hold the graduation ceremonies in a church, when comparable and affordable secular facilities are available."
He says plaintiffs in the case have asked to remain anonymous because they’re afraid to speak out publically. Schneider describes the atmosphere in Enfield as “divisive”. WNPR was unable to reach the Center for Law and Justice, which is defending Enfield’s School Board. The town’s education leaders have said the cost of renting the church is significantly less expensive than renting other large facilities.
For WNPR, I’m Diane Orson.