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The Franklin County School Board voted unanimously Tuesday to eliminate prayer in schools and some residents are upset.

The American Civil Liberties Union sent a letter to the school district last week after a Franklinton High School parent complained to the ACLU that there was a prayer at a recent awards ceremony for graduating seniors.

In a May 22 letter, ACLU legal director, Chris Brook wrotes the Franklin County school board attorney saying:

“According to the complaint we received, the audience was expected to and did respond with ‘in Jesus name’ and ‘Amen’ at the end of the invocation. This prayer occurred after the awards ceremony had begun and in such a fashion that audience members felt coerced to participate. … The practices described at the recent Franklinton High School awards ceremony as well as the upcoming commencement ceremony are unconstitutional.”

Brook said, “That’s not the government’s role, to be putting together prayers. I think it is inevitably going to communicate to someone in an audience that they are not a part of the community.” 

Brook says the complaint from the Franklinton High School parent is the first school prayer complaint at a graduation ceremony that the ACLU of North Carolina has seen in six years.

Brook asked board members to make sure a prayer isn’t said during the June 9 graduation ceremonies and to ensure it won’t happen at future awards ceremonies. Brook also asked the board to develop policy that prohibits prayer at school sponsored events.

However residents were upset with the school board and says the board should have sought public input.

 

source:  NBC 17

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