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Can't believe my dd's school was doing this!

Posted by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 1:16 PM
  • 101 Replies

School to stop leading prayer

Jacqueline Webb

January 25, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- School officials say the recent practice of saying a prayer over the public address system at Central City Elementary School will stop, after a parent complained that it was inappropriate.

Jacqueline Webb, whose two children attend the school, voiced her complaint to Principal Patrick O'Neal the Monday following the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., the same morning she first heard the group prayer.

"It was Dec. 17, the Monday after the Sandy Hook shooting, and the kids were late that morning so I took them into the office to get slips and get to class and while I was standing there, the principal went through the pledge and announcements and then introduced a staff member who prayed in Jesus' name," Webb said.

Webb said she believes matters of a religious nature should be kept inside the family.

"It made me uncomfortable, so I went home and thought about it and I called and talked to the principal and secretary, who both apologized to me and told me it was a one-time occasion in response to Sandy Hook because everybody needed reassurance and comfort."

Webb said she was willing to let the situation drop until Thursday morning. She said she, upon dropping her children off, heard O'Neal lead students in another prayer via the PA system, in which he called for "protection and help to get us through our day," ending with "In Jesus' name, Amen."

"I was furious. I was sitting there thinking that I know of at least one other family there, a Catholic family, who doesn't pray the same way. There have got to be Jewish families in that school who don't pray that way. And, I was furious that I'd been lied to the first time about it being a one-time-only thing for Sandy Hook," Webb said. "Here we are, one month later and I'm wondering if they've been doing it every morning. This is why we have separation of church and state -- because you cannot be fair to everybody."

Jedd Flowers, director of communications for Cabell County schools, said he learned of the situation Thursday morning after Webb called the school's board office.

"The principal has been informed it is not appropriate to lead prayer at school and I have every confidence it will not happen again," Flowers said. "I think it came from the heart, but that still doesn't make it allowable."

O'Neal apologized Thursday afternoon and said it was not his intention to offend anybody.

"With the way society is now, with everything going on, I felt the need for something extra for us to provide protection for our school. It was really just a generic prayer of protection," O'Neal said. "But, we'll cease from saying the prayer. It won't happen again."

Webb said she wanted attention on the issue she described as "crossing the line."

"I understand studying religious topics in school. Doing it in an academic context is not a problem. Doing it as a practice in the morning is crossing the line," she said. "I'm not interested in going to war with anybody or getting anybody in major trouble or fired. I just want it stopped."

Follow H-D reporter Beth Hendricks on Facebook or Twitter @BethHendricksHD.


I am very upset that this was happening in my dd's school. She goes to a public school and prayer has no buisness there. If people want their children's day to include relgion then send them to a private school. My dd is special needs and so she wouldn't really be able to tell me about it but my ds starts there next year and they better have stopped by then because I will be checking.

It's Cassandra Cat! 

by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 1:16 PM
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Replies (1-10):
peanutsmommy1
by Gold Member on Jan. 25, 2013 at 1:23 PM
7 moms liked this

I agree

prayer to the masses does not belong in public schools. I know my son has Muslim and Jewish children in his class. If you can't represent all faiths, don't do it at all

auntangelofsix
by Silver Member on Jan. 25, 2013 at 1:25 PM
1 mom liked this
I agree
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Luvmybooskies
by Bronze Member on Jan. 25, 2013 at 1:26 PM
11 moms liked this

My kids' school does a moment of silence every morning after announcements. That I like! Those who pray can do so and to the God(s) they worship and those who don't can just gather their thoughts.

amy1will
by Amethyst on Jan. 25, 2013 at 1:26 PM
I agree.
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angelachristine
by Platinum Member on Jan. 25, 2013 at 1:33 PM
1 mom liked this

Glad to see I'm not the only one who feels this way. I kinda like the moment of silence thing that has no religious connotations but praying to a specific entity is isolating and wrong. 

It's Cassandra Cat! 

LaughingTattoo
by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 1:36 PM

Eek. Not acceptable

coolmommy2x
by Ruby Member on Jan. 25, 2013 at 1:41 PM
I prefer a moment of silence over prayer.
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smartmommy1050
by Member on Jan. 25, 2013 at 4:35 PM
8 moms liked this
Honestly I don't see the big deal. It's not like they force the children to participate. I wouldn't mind if my children attended a school that did this whether it was in accordance with my personal beliefs or not. As long as its a positive message, what's the big deal?
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Merricksmom1
by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 4:44 PM
Hey I used to live close to Huntington! lol off topic I know! Haha as for the prayer I'll keep my opinion to myself.
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angelachristine
by Platinum Member on Jan. 25, 2013 at 4:44 PM
4 moms liked this

You can send a positive message without bringing god or religion into it. The big deal is it's a public school and we are supposed to have a separation of church and state so religion has no business in the public schools. If that's something you want send your child to a religious school. Also, not everyone is christian there are Jewish people, Muslims, atheists etc... and it is not right for those in authority to endorse one religion. It is a big deal to some people and I am really mad that my daughter's school was doing this.


Quoting smartmommy1050:

Honestly I don't see the big deal. It's not like they force the children to participate. I wouldn't mind if my children attended a school that did this whether it was in accordance with my personal beliefs or not. As long as its a positive message, what's the big deal?



It's Cassandra Cat! 

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