Both Enfield and Enrico Fermi High school, as well as South Windsor, East Hartford, and Windsor High Schools have been holding graduation ceremonies at The First Cathedral of Bloomfield for several years now. After hearing numerous complaints, the ACLU of Connecticut, ACLU's Freedom of Religion and Belief Project, and Americans United for Separation of Church and State sent a letter Wednesday to the Enfield School board demanding the high schools hold graduation ceremonies in a secular alternative.
David Mcguire is an attorney with the Connecticut ACLU. He says the Bloomfield Megachurch is chock full of Christian symbolism which he says devalues the faith of students and parents in the religious minority:
"The front of the church has a facade with no less than five Christian crosses on it, the church's lpobby has a fountain in the shape of a cross surrounded by a shape of a tomb, which represents Jesus Christ after death, and there are large banners that say Jesus Christ is lord, even the carpet has religious iconography. So in short, it can't be covered up."
McGuire says there are venues of similar size that are closer to Enfield, and less expensive to rent. The First Cathedral is 17 miles from Enrico Fermi High School. According to McGuire the graduating classes of 2008 and 2009 overhwelmingly voted against having graduation at the Cathedral, which is 17 miles away from Enfield.
The ACLU of Connecticut says if the Enfield schools do not switch graduation venues, they will take the school board to court. Enfield School Superintendent John Gallacher did return calls for comment.
For WNPR, I'm Ray Hardman.