After One Brave Member Resigned in Protest, School Board Votes Against Public Prayers at Meetings

Earlier this month, the Rockingham County Board of Education (North Carolina) debated whether or not they should pray at meetings instead of sticking to a moment of silence.

One board member, Leonard Pryor, was so appalled this would even be considered that he resigned in protest, presumably before any lawsuits came their way:

Leonard Pryor

On Monday night, after plenty of discussion, the board correctly voted 7-3 against the prayers:

“We were elected to serve the students of Rockingham County,” said board member Amanda Bell, who voted against the motion. “We were not elected to serve ourselves.”

Chairwoman Nell Rose, Vice Chairman Hal Griffin, as well as board members Wayne Kirkman, Elaine McCollum, Lorie McKinney and Bob Wyatt also voted against it.

Smart move on the board’s part — they can focus on doing what’s best for the students instead of wasting time appeasing Christians who think all government meetings ought to be like church services.

Meanwhile, Josh Austin, Ron Price and Steve Smith — all of whom voted for the prayer — are out of luck. (I don’t know how they’re going to function with this notion of silent prayer… If no one knows you’re praying, it doesn’t really count, does it?)

So far, Pryor hasn’t said anything about the vote, but it’s very likely thanks to him that the other board members decided to vote the right way. He saved them from losing a lot of money in a potential lawsuit. Forget God — the other board members should publicly thank Pryor for what he did to bring attention to this matter.

(Thanks to Brian for the link)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.


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