A seven-year court fight over students who prayed at a public school graduation event has proven to be costly in money as well as time and court resources, Fox Carolina reports.
All to squash prayers at a school function.
On April 14, an 11-page order handed down from the U.S. District Court for South Carolina awarded the American Humanist Association more than $456,000 in legal fees in a lawsuit filed against Greenville County Schools in protest of Christian prayer at school functions.
The suit, first filed way back in 2013, accused the school district of violating the First Amendment by holding elementary school graduations in a Christian place of worship and including prayers as part of graduation observances.
In July of last year, the District Court ruled that the school district should not be including prayer as part of the official program for school events, and should print a disclaimer in graduation programs that views and opinions of students are their own, not that of the district, lest anyone be lured into the clutches of Christian thought or become subject to oppression by Christians in government.
Greenville County Schools said they are committed to protecting students’ freedom of speech.
The AHA issued called the 2019 ruling a victory.
On April 14 the court said the AHA is the “prevailing party” and awarded them $446,466 in attorneys’ fees and $9,776 in other litigation costs. The AHA had requested $584,026 in attorney fees, but was not awarded the full amount.
A spokesperson for Greenville County Schools said the district will likely appeal.