All 17 Candidates for a North Carolina School Board Want Illegal Prayers at Meetings

There are 17 candidates running for 5 spots on the Cleveland County Board of Education in North Carolina, and they all took part in a forum last night so the public could get to know them a little better.

While most of the questions were randomly given to individual candidates, all 17 of them were asked whether they wanted prayer at school board meetings. (Because that’s really what matters.)

Just to be clear, praying at school board meetings is illegal. It’s not like a city council where there can be a rotating cast of invocation speakers. So this was a dumb question to begin with.

But they asked it. So how did the candidates respond?

Every single one of them said yes. Some of them said they wanted to make sure it was legal first, but they all wanted it. Here’s just a sampling of their responses:

Nikki Ledford:

I am Christian and I do support opening every school board meeting with the power of prayer. It’s just simple and sweet: I believe in the Lord and the prayer, and I believe that we should all share that and open the school board meetings with a prayer.

William Gray:

I also believe that we could open our meetings with a moment of prayer. I think it’s a travesty that we even have to discuss such a thing, and it goes to show how far our school board and schools itself have failed us. The general population, folks here and the churches seem to think we should and we definitely should.

Howard McLeod:

After my God created Heaven and Earth, he looked around and said ‘I want it still.’ That’s why I believe we should have prayer before the board meetings. I know we can do this. The people in the community have to be inclusive to do this here. If they do this here, we will definitely have prayer in the schools, but we have to work together.

A couple of them either misheard the question or wanted to take it even further. They said they wanted prayer back in schools. Since that has always been legal, and Christians have always been allowed to pray privately, I assume what they meant is that they wanted mandatory prayers back in school. Because who really cares about students who are Jewish, Muslim, atheist, etc.?

Howard Thompson:

There’s no need to seek counsel from any attorney. The only thing we need to do is look at the First Amendment to the Constitution. If congress is not able to make a law to establish any religion or to respect any religion, therefore they cannot make any laws to disrespect any religion. So within this town, people are demanding for prayer to be back in school, and I think it would be perfect for prayer to be back in schools because it would be one step closer to bringing politicians back to God to help them make logical decision from the source of God himself and it could make this country a better place.

Hal Hastings:

I fully support prayer before school board meetings. I don’t blame the school board because we haven’t had them. I don’t believe it’s the school system or the state. The reason we don’t have prayer in our school system is our fault. If we would have had an outrage because they took prayer out of school, we could have changed it and voted it right back in. We need to be the ones who get prayer back in our school system.

Not a single candidate had the courage to say some variation of the appropriate answer: “I think prayer is a private matter and I want this school board to focus on what’s best for the kids in our District. Every one of us can pray on our own before we arrive here, but if you elect me, I plan to get down to business when our meetings begin.”

Let’s hope there’s a spot on the ballot for “None of the above.” These candidates all seem better suited for church leadership than advocating for students of all backgrounds on a school board.

(Image via Facebook. Thanks to Brian for the link)


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