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GRANITE SCHOOLS TO BAN PRAYERS AT GRADUATIONS

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Commencement and graduation prayers will not be allowed in Granite District junior and senior high schools beginning with the 1992-93 school year.

The Granite Board of Education reluctantly adopted the policy Tuesday night in a first step toward ending a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union against the district two years ago.A Supreme Court ruling in a similar case in Rhode Island, in which graduation prayers were found to be unconstitutional, essentially decides the question, said board member Denis Morrill. The pending Granite case and one in Alpine District seem useless in view of the high court's decision. To pursue the cases would be a waste of taxpayer money, he said.

"When the court rules, you obey," said Morrill. But he did not rule out an effort to try to change the Supreme Court position. The board action will not automatically nullify the case against the district. Court action still will be necessary.