Kenny Hilburn, left, and Larry Joye, two members of the “chain gang,” wear T-shirts in support of prayer at Carvers Bay High School’s football game on Friday night. After the county School Board said it would no longer pray before its meetings, a moment of silence replaced a prayer before the game started.
Prayer has become a hot topic in the race for at least one of the seats on the Georgetown County School Board expiring in November.
And many parents are also joining the fight.
Acting on advice given by district attorney David Duff, Christian prayers at school board meetings and other district activities has been replaced with a moment of silence.
The decision to replace prayer with a moment of silence was made after the American Civil Liberties Union issued a Freedom of Information request to all school districts in the state as the organization investigates religious activities that take place in schools and at school-related events.
During the annual Boil & Stump on Monday, Peggy Wheeler-Cribb, a candidate for the Georgetown County School Board’s District 6 seat, said she will pray at board meetings if she is elected.
“We have other faiths and cults that can stand up for what they believe. How long are we going to turn tail and run?” Wheeler-Cribb asked. “I will pray wherever I am because I am a Christian wherever I am. We do not have to leave Jesus at the door. We don’t need to turn and run from the ACLU.”
None of the other school board candidates mentioned the prayer issue during the Boil & Stump.
During Friday night’s Carvers Bay and Andrews football games, when the moment of silence was taking place, many in attendance recited the Lord’s Prayer.
Also at the Carvers Bay-Georgetown game, “Bears pray before we play” T-shirts were handed out to more than 150 people in attendance.
Organizer Scott Stone said the moves are being made as a way to make sure prayer remains a part of the football games. More shirts are expected to be handed out at upcoming home games.
Jessica Jones, on the Georgetown Times’ Facebook page, said as people prayed at the Andrews game, voices “grew louder and louder.”
She said the crowd “stood proud, letting the world know we love God.”
Some parents of students at Rosemary Middle School have organized a prayer rally for Thursday morning.
Organizer Stephanie Smith said it will begin at 7:15 a.m. outside the school.
“The principal just asks that we do not block any traffic flow,” Smith wrote. “Any students who wish to participate are welcome, however, if you are not accompanied by a parent, you must have written consent.”
By Scott Harper
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