PPS board votes to uphold choir ban at The Grotto

The school board voted 4-3 to uphold the ban on performances at The Grotto

A PPS board member is fighting back against what he says was a rushed decision to ban choir performances at The Grotto. (KOIN)
A PPS board member is fighting back against what he says was a rushed decision to ban choir performances at The Grotto. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The PPS school board voted against a resolution Tuesday night that would have allowed school choirs to perform at The Grotto’s Festival of Lights.

The school board voted 4-3 to uphold the ban on performances at The Grotto.

If approved, the resolution would have allowed school choirs to perform at The Grotto during its annual Festival of Lights, claiming it “provides a unique acoustical setting for choir music that is difficult to replicate at another site in Portland.”

Portland Public Schools announced the move to stop performances at the Catholic shrine following complaints from an out-of-state atheist group.

A staff attorney at the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation previously told KOIN 6 News they received 5-10 complaints about choir performances at The Grotto.

The organization claims the setting, being a place of religion, violates the separation of church and state.

But PPS board member Michael Rosen said the district jumped the gun by making the decision without going through the proper steps.

Rosen, along with many others, hoped the district could resolve the issue.

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