Last month, when more than a dozen candidates were in a battle for five spots on the Cleveland County Board of Education in North Carolina, we learned that all of them wanted prayer at school board meetings.
On Monday, they voted to include those prayers at meetings. The weird thing is that they now want to put this issue behind them and refocus on education, as if it was ever okay to put education on the back burner.
Board Chairman Phillip Glover said now that the prayer policy is approved, he hopes the topic will be put to rest for the time being.
“I feel the board wants to get back to the business of education,” he said. “This topic of prayer has kind of distracted us from what we need to be focused on, and that’s educating the students of Cleveland County.”
The policy states that the prayer would occur after the start of the meeting but before official business has begun; No one in attendance of the meeting is required to participate; the board is not allowed to review the content of any invocation prior to its delivery.
Greg Shull, director of communications for Cleveland County Schools, said the district will release an informational piece on its website near the beginning of December, which will include sign-up procedures for prayers and related documentation.
All of this might be fine at a city council meeting. But courts have repeatedly said school board meetings are different since children are involved. If a resident in the community is willing to be a plaintiff, the district could be hit with a lawsuit.
No matter what board members say, this isn’t about the students. This is about the commissioners and their egos. They act as if God won’t hear their prayers if they’re said silently or before the meeting ever begins. They want an audience for their acts of devotion.
The short term solution is that atheists and Satanists and other non-Christians need to sign up to deliver the invocations as soon as registration is open. But the longer term solution is for a lawsuit to end this practice altogether. School board meetings aren’t about public displays of faith. They’re about doing what’s best for kids. And those two things are mutually exclusive.
(Image via Facebook. Thanks to Brian for the link)