The federal government has banned a Florida high school’s graduation ceremony, a move that has upset many in the community.
The announcement came Tuesday in a letter to the student body that also called for an investigation into the event’s organizers.
The school’s principal is the president of the school’s student council, according to the Palm Beach Post.
The president of Florida High School Association, the school system’s parent organization, said the group would take legal action to protect the ceremony.
“We are deeply concerned about the way that this has been handled and will pursue legal action against the event organizers and its sponsors to protect this historic moment in our school’s history,” the group said in a statement.
“The First Amendment protects our school system from censorship and this incident is unacceptable.”
The Associated Press first reported the school was banning the graduation ceremony last month.
The state Department of Education did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The controversy started last year when the school announced it would honor the late Rev. William Barber, a prominent pastor who died in 2009 after a long battle with cancer.
Barber was a vocal supporter of President Donald Trump and a vocal critic of the former president.
Barber said he was “in tears” at the announcement, which he said was the result of a desire to be more inclusive and to promote tolerance.
The ceremony was held last Saturday in an area near the campus of the University of South Florida.
Barber died after being hospitalized on April 26, 2017.
In an email to students and parents, the principal said the decision to ban the ceremony was based on the “extensive and growing religious and cultural sensitivity of our students and their parents.”
“While this was a decision we made based on a number of factors, we recognize that these students have been raised with a different culture and that their beliefs are not reflective of the community they are representing,” the email said.
We cannot and will not tolerate such behavior in our schools.” “
This is the first time in history that a graduation ceremony has been banned from our community because of religious sensitivities.
We cannot and will not tolerate such behavior in our schools.”