Honor Student Boycotts Graduation Held In Baptist Church

A Georgia high school honors student is boycotting her graduation because it’s being held in a church, saying it could be alienating to some of her peers who are not Christian.

Nahkoura Mahnassi, 16, and her mother, Alisha Brown, criticized the school for holding the graduation at the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church because not everyone is a Christian and the venue could be offensive or off-putting to some.

New Birth’s Pastor, Eddie Long, was accused of sexual misconduct by four young men from the church last year. Long and the ministry ended up settling out of court.

Mahnassi, who maintains a 3.8 GPA, credits her mother for teaching her to sand up for what she believes in.

The DeKalb County School District issued the following statement:

“The school district is holding commencements this year at a number of locations throughout the community, including school district stadiums and the Georgia Dome. Each year, the school district looks to find spaces big enough to host our largest graduating classes. This year, Southwest DeKalb High School is holding its graduation at a faith-based organization in the community. This is based on a previous agreement that expires this year. We will continue to work to find the best and most appropriate venues to accommodate our students as they celebrate such an important milestone.”

Kudos for Mahnassi and Brown for having the courage of their convictions and lets hope the DeKalb County School District realizes that affiliating with those institutions accused of harboring child abusers is not only bad imaging, its horrific management.

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Photo from RandyOHC via flickr.


Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin5 years ago

So glad I'm a heathen and not in school anymore!

Ashlee R.
Ashlee R5 years ago

Good for her! Especially when the Rev. is accused of sexual misconduct.

Norma V.
Norma Villarreal5 years ago

It's about attitude more than the building...nonetheless, I am more concerned about Rev. Long!

Nicole Pauline Sedkowski
Nicole Sedkowski5 years ago


Faith Purdy
Faith Purdy5 years ago

i wonder what the "previous arrangement" entailed?

Karen Friedman
karen Friedman5 years ago

Good for her. The school should look for another neutral lacation. I thought we had separtion of church and state, guess that doesn't apply to DeKalb county, in Georgia.

Shirl H.
Shirl H.5 years ago

Thousands of kids graduate every year that are from small strong religious towns. The people who boycott the ceremony being held in a church most likely knows that their town has always used it as a venue for graduation. So all I can say is, GIVE ME A BREAK!! Just because it is in a church doesn't mean it can't be secular. My kids graduations were held in the school gym and they were opened and closed by a prayer. From a specific church in our area. So quityerbichon and go graduate with your friends and just take joy in the day!

Tim R.
Tim Ra5 years ago

I don't think it would matter, especially being it's in Georgia. I attended my daughter's graduation in Newnnan Georgia, and it was held on the public high school's football field. Two times during the ceremony there were prayers and it seemed there was no concern for separation of church and state. I think people in Georgia just automatically assume everyone is a Baptist. lol ;-)

Philip Amos
.5 years ago

Don't tell me the couldn't have found a more suitable building, and one where they will not likely be cheerily welcomed by a child molester. Fools.

Mercedes Lackey
Mercedes Lackey5 years ago

My high school held graduation on the football field. Plenty of room for everyone.