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(6,907 posts)
Sat Aug 17, 2013, 06:20 PM Aug 2013

Hardy Elementary School embraces the power of prayer

A host from late breaking news suggested that I post this in this forum. I was a little relunctant to, because I didn't want to start a thread of just "prayer doesn't work" posts. I'm interested in the church and state issue - a church used to meet in this school building, and now they are visiting the building when it isn't school time to bless it. In the photo, the principal and assistant principal are participating. The story says that administrators, teachers, parents and students participate. So what do you think? Can a school host religious ceremonies as long as it is "after hours?" I wonder if by the principal's particiation if there isn't at least subtle pressure to participate for employees as well as families.

Source: chattanooga Times Free Press

Jackie Moore gripped the handle of a classroom door at Hardy Elementary School, bowed her head and asked God to make safe the children who study in that room and in rooms throughout the school. And to help them learn.

As Moore prayed, Principal Anetta Ferguson leaned her head on the door and cried.
"I want the children to have a great day every day regardless of what goes on outside," she said.

Moore, a member of Love Fellowship Baptist Church, and Ferguson were among more than nearly two dozen people who walked the hallways of Hardy Elementary School this week and prayed. The group included teachers, school administrators, church members, parents and students.

Read more: http://timesfreepress.com/news/2013/aug/17/school-embraces-0010the-power-of-prayer/?local

This happens only after school hours = do you think it is OK?

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(6,907 posts)
4. thanks for posting this
Sat Aug 17, 2013, 06:39 PM
Aug 2013

I think the most comparable thing is praying at sporting events.

this part:

"Religious clubs may hold meetings on public high school grounds in accordance with the Federal Equal Access Act as long as other similar noncurriculum related student groups are allowed to meet during non instructional time; the club does not interfere with regular educational activities; and the school does not initiate, direct, sponsor, participate in, or promote during instructional time the religious activities of student clubs. Additionally, while faculty are commonly required to be present during student meetings for insurance purposes, their role should be restricted to a custodial, non
-participatory role. These measures are in place to ensure the separation of church and state."

It seems to me that the actions at this school violates this - teachers and administrators taking part in the activity with students.



(82,333 posts)
8. I'd like to see some more facts on this. The outcomes in these cases are all over the place.
Sat Aug 17, 2013, 06:58 PM
Aug 2013

Thanks for posting about this story. Most likely there will be a follow up soon.



(71,265 posts)
2. I am not comfortable with praying in a public school at any time of the day.
Sat Aug 17, 2013, 06:26 PM
Aug 2013

I am not sure of the legality but I am not comfortable with this.


(146,218 posts)
3. It doesn't sit right with me at all,
Sat Aug 17, 2013, 06:30 PM
Aug 2013

Particularly since staff and students are participating.

I don't have an issue with certain religious groups using the building after hours, just as I don't for certain non-religious groups.

But when they are doing something that is more that just using the property and making giving the property itself some religious meaning, I think they have crossed the line.


(6,907 posts)
6. i agree with you
Sat Aug 17, 2013, 06:40 PM
Aug 2013

about groups using the building to meet. If one group can meet then all should, the way I see it. The administrators and teachers participating with students gives me the heebie jeebies.


(146,218 posts)
7. I'm glad you brought this here and that you made your intent clear.
Sat Aug 17, 2013, 06:47 PM
Aug 2013

We discuss a lot of 1st amendment issues and mostly agree.

Not always, but mostly.


(101,835 posts)
9. I'm slightly worried by a principal who has been doing this for years, but cries about it
Sun Aug 18, 2013, 08:07 AM
Aug 2013
As Moore prayed, Principal Anetta Ferguson leaned her head on the door and cried.

"I want the children to have a great day every day regardless of what goes on outside," she said.

Then she explained her concern for children who are homeless and their struggle to remain in school while not knowing where they are going to sleep at night.

That smacks to me of fake crying for the benefit of the reporter. She's the principal, she has been able to do this for 8 years, and yet she's crying as if something has just happened. She's been free to mark her territory for her religion in this way all this time; if it's about the homeless children, then she should be working with social workers about it, not blessing buildings.

The test for this would be for a Muslim group to come in and do the same; if everyone accepts that without questioning it, then we could say there's no harm in it, because it does not affect the people without the particular belief.
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