Judge: Church Graduations not Unconstitutional

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MILWAUKEE - A federal judge in Wisconsin has decided to allow a public school district to hold its graduation ceremonies in a church.

U.S. District Judge Charles Clevert issued his ruling Tuesday in a lawsuit filed by Americans United for Separation of Church and State against a district in a Milwaukee suburb.

The Elmbrook School District plans to use Elmbrook Church for the June 6 and 7 commencements of two high schools.

School district officials say they chose Elmbrook Church and its 3,200-seat capacity for convenience and comfort.

The judge said holding the ceremony in a church does not necessarily constitute a church ceremony.

The plaintiffs had argued that it would be an unconstitutional violation of the divide between church and government.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.

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