A high school was opening its graduation ceremonies with prayer. The prayer was formally listed in the graduation program and the prayer-giver was formally introduced by a member of the school administration. AU wrote to the school district to explain that the inclusion of prayer at public-school graduations is unconstitutional. The district responded and agreed to stop the practice.
Following an inquiry from AU, Boone County decided to remove a monument honoring Gulf War veterans from public property because the monument contained religious iconography. The County plans to replace the monument with a more inclusive, secular memorial.
City officials were sponsoring a trip by the government-run senior center to see a religious holiday play. AU wrote to the city to explain that the city’s sponsorship of this trip violated the separation of church and state. The city agreed and has ended its sponsorship of the trip.
AU received a complaint that the City of St. Augustine, as part of its 450th anniversary celebration, was listed as sponsoring a religious processional and Catholic Mass. We wrote to the City to explain that such sponsorship was unconstitutional. The City agreed and assured us that listing the City as a sponsor of those events was a mistake and that the events were wholly private and received no government support.
A Veterans Administration clinic was displaying a religious statue in its public area. AU wrote to the VA to explain that the display of religious iconography on government property is unconstitutional. The VA removed the display.
An Alabama sheriff had placed decals on patrol cars that featured a verse from the Bible. AU wrote to his county to explain that this was unconstitutional. The sheriff removed the decals.
AU received a complaint regarding a display on government property that featured a soldier kneeling in front of a Latin cross. We wrote to the city to explain that this display was unconstitutional, and the city decided to move the display to private property.
The San Antonio Fire Department’s web page displayed a religious “Fireman’s Prayer.” AU wrote to the Department to explain that it is unconstitutional for a government agency to post a prayer on its website. The Department removed the prayer.
A public school’s annual marching-band honors dinner opened with a prayer introduced by the band director and delivered by a student. AU wrote to the school district to explain that the inclusion of prayer at public-school events violates the Constitution. Though the district did not provide a formal response, our complainant went to the first dinner following our letter and reported that there was no prayer.
A government-owned playground had equipment that told the story of Noah’s Ark in pictures and words. AU wrote to the Parks and Recreation Department to explain that the display violated the separation of church and state. The Department agreed to remove the display.