Cross Wars: Religious Symbols to Be Covered at NJ Graduation

High school breaks with 70-year tradition after battle with ACLU.

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    It's the ceremony that has some residents upset. (Published Thursday, May 12, 2011)

    Graduates at a New Jersey high school will break with a nearly 70-year tradition when they don't walk under a 20-foot cross at this year's commencement.     


    The change is a compromise between the Neptune Township school board and the American Civil Liberties Union for the graduation to take place at the Ocean Grove Great Auditorium.     


    The board agreed to cover religious symbols inside and students and guests will enter through side and back doors to avoid the cross over the front of the 19th building in the former religious enclave.

    A person complained about religious references and Christian iconography at last year's ceremony.


    ACLU communications director Katie Wang told the Asbury Park Press the group is satisfied all can enjoy the graduation "without feeling like outsiders based on religious differences.''