GROVEPORT, Ohio (WCMH) — More parents are speaking out in opposition of a local school district’s decision to hold graduation ceremonies at a local megachurch. Now Groveport Madison seniors are faced with the tough decision of whether to receive their diplomas with their classmates or stay home.
Groveport school administrators say there’s not enough room inside the new high school and temperatures outside could make it uncomfortable on the football field. World Harvest Church, home to the controversial views of its pastor will also be home to the class of 2020’s graduation.
Parents like Linda Love, whose son is a Groveport Madison senior and won’t be attending ceremonies in June, say they’re taking the firm stand because they don’t agree with the district’s decision.
“To me it’s discrimination. Knowing that that preacher preaches against their religion,” said Love.
For Love’s son Bertie Barton, standing in solidarity with some of his classmates means missing out on graduation ceremonies.
“I wanna be on the side of the people that’s offended, that don’t want to go themselves because of the beliefs that they’re trying to, kind of, push on them I think,” said Barton.
A district spokesperson sent NBC4 a statement, reading in part, “Before making rash decisions or skipping graduation altogether, let’s see how it goes this year. It won’t be hard to know if people attending this year’s graduation find the facility to be less than what we all expect. If that’s the case, the District will look at other options for the years to follow.”
Other districts that have held graduation ceremonies at World Harvest Church include Hamilton Local, Pickerington and Canal Winchester.