Naples, FL

Pine Ridge Middle School in Collier County maintained a practice of holding its award ceremonies at a church. A large, uncovered cross appeared on the wall in the place where the ceremonies were held. AU wrote a letter to the county school board explaining that it is unconstitutional to require students to enter a house of worship in order to be honored for their achievements. After receiving no formal response from the school board, we sent a public-records request concerning the school’s practice. In May 2008, we learned that this year’s award ceremony would be held at a secular location. We will continue to monitor the school in the future to ensure that the ceremony is not returned to a house of worship.