MCKINNEY, TEXAS - McKinney ISD announced it will not hold its high school graduation ceremonies at Prestonwood Baptist Church.
The district said ceremonies took place at the church for more than a decade. Instead, graduation will be held at the Allen Event Center at 200 E. Stacy Road. In a Feb. 8 letter addressed to parents with graduating students, the change comes due to "a variety of reasons including proximity, availability, attendance capacity, and convenience."
The district sent a response to WFAA with the following statement:
McKinney ISD chose to move graduation from Prestonwood Baptist Church to the Allen Event Center for a variety of reasons. Our goal was to keep 100 percent of the focus of graduation on honoring students and their accomplishments. The majority of school districts in our area have held graduations in secular venues for years. The Allen Event Center currently hosts graduations for Collin College, Lovejoy ISD, Wylie ISD, Melissa ISD, and Princeton ISD. Many of our Christian parents have expressed that while they were comfortable with graduations at Prestonwood Baptist Church, they can understand how a family of another faith might feel differently.
Jack Graham, the pastor of the church, fired back on Twitter on Tuesday.
It appears religious freedom is under attack at the Mckinney Public Schools. It was our refusal to remove the cross from view that created this cowardly decision https://t.co/O9dCurijZq— Jack Graham (@jackngraham) February 13, 2018
He has since posted a response Wednesday.
Just wondering on what planet a church,synagogue, or mosque would be expected to cover its religious symbols to host a public school graduation https://t.co/jWjg1Ud2dk— Jack Graham (@jackngraham) February 14, 2018
Last year, the school district became the subject of scrutiny following a complaint filed over prayer at a mandatory meeting for McKinney ISD teachers.
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