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October 22, 2016
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No invocation at Wallenpaupack graduations

Three students are scheduled to speak at the commencement: the class president, the valedictorian and the salutatorian. The district cannot control what the students choose to say, nor can the district be sued for what the students say, Silsby said. The students have freedom of speech, and the district cannot promote or restrict what they say, he said.

Silsby noted religion is brought into school in many ways, but done so within the law. For instance, the phrase “under God” is in the Pledge of Allegiance; and chorus directors may include sacred songs among others during a holiday concert, as long as everything is balanced. After-school Bible clubs are also allowed, and the district rents out one of its schools for a local church to meet on Sundays.