A legal fight over public prayer at a high school graduation has intensified in Castroville, Texas.
State Attorney General Greg Abbott said he'll join an appeal of a federal judge's ruling that banned public prayer at Medina Valley High School's upcoming graduation ceremony.
Agnostic parents of a graduating student brought the suit against the school.
Chief U.S. District Judge Fred Biery's ruling forbids students from asking the audience to join in prayer or bow their heads. They can't even say the word 'prayer' or conclude their remarks by saying 'amen.'
Abbot called the ruling unconstitutional and is filing an "amicus brief" supporting the school's appeal.
"The last thing these students should have done is to have ripped out from under them their ability to participate in a ceremony they've been expecting for the last four years," he said.
"Part of this goes to the very heart of the unraveling of moral values in the country today," he added.
Don Flanary, attorney for the plaintiffs, disagreed saying Abbott was "misinformed and wrong."
"No one's trying to remove God from anywhere. What we're trying to do is follow the law and the law says the state of Texas and the United States government can't force religion on its citizens," Flanary said.
Meanwhile, the Texas governor is hopeful the appellate court will issue a favorable decision in time for the school's graduation on Saturday.