Featured Article

ACLU warns Enfield School Board about Church Graduation
Article Audio

1:32 minutes (0.74 MB)
Download this Article
Share this Content

The ACLU of Connecticut is warning the Enfield school board to stop holding graduation ceremonies at a Christian church in Bloomfield. WNPR's Ray Hardman has more.

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.


It was voted down! It is

It was voted down! It is ridiculous to expect teachers, children and parents to travel the 17 miles to graduate in a church - one that is certainly not a warm atmosphere. The schools themselves have plenty of options. Renting a tent for an outdoor graduation would be much less expensive and then the ceremony would be where it belongs...at the school. Many towns do this. If the gym isn't condusive RENT A TENT!


The fact that the ACLU and the AUSCS have DEMANDED a change in venue is a good enough reason to refuse their demand, just to pizz them off.

Conservatives in this

Conservatives in this country will be very surprised to find out that if they are successful in shoving religion into the public schools, they will have to include Scientology, Islam etc.  Be careful what you wish for.

Enfield School

Why don't you leave this school as well as many others alone. Because a "few" people don't agree. TOUGH!. Thats all this organization does is waste taxpayers time and money on nonsense. Why don't you stand up for all the people who have to spend money on illegal immigrants who are violating the law and should be removed from this country and get in line to get citizenship. Why don't you stand up for all the other people in this country who come here legally and assimilate to this culture, speak english and abide by the laws. Instead of "Pandering" to Spanish people who cannot abide by the laws and speak English as should be. No other nationality has this issue period. German, french, Muslim, Asian, Pakistinian, Indian, Russian, etc. Why not stand up for all these groups and demand everything that is bi-lingual to passify a few should not be enforced for everyone so each time you go to the store you get the privildege of reading everything in every language possible. This organization has good intentions, but gets to rapped up with such idiotic complaints. Go to Lowes store, its a disgrace, Wake up!

The Connecticut ACLU wants Enfield to relocate their graduation

 Nice job Ray Hardman with this article and, keep up the good work as always.