Student Does Not Have Right to Play Religious Song at Graduation Ceremony

So held a partially-split panel in Nurre v. Whitehead, No. 07-35867 (9th Cir. Sept 8, 2009):

Kathryn Nurre (“Nurre”) sought to perform an instrumental version of “Ave Maria” at her public high school’s graduation ceremony. Dr. Carol Whitehead (“Whitehead”), superintendent of Everett School District No. 2 (the “District”), in which Nurre’s high school is located, declared that the piece could not be played at the ceremony because it could be seen as endorsing religion. Nurre subsequently sued Whitehead in both her individual and official capacities for alleged violations of Nurre’s First and Fourteenth Amendment rights. Nurre now appeals dismissal of her civil rights claims brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Supreme Court precedent and the law of our circuit counsel us to find that there was no violation of Nurre’s constitutional rights. Therefore, we affirm the ruling of the district judge.

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