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Pickens County school board to consider prayer again

EASLEY (AP) — The Pickens County School Board is going to take another look at its prayer policy. The school board voted 3-2 this week to put the issue on the agenda for the March 23 meeting, The Greenville News reported.

Trustee Alex Saitta said the district has received information from the state attorney general and the district’s insurance company since delaying action on the policy in October. The policy would allow local ministers to offer prayers at meetings according to their consciences, on a rotating basis.

“The policy deserves a simple up or down vote,” Saitta said.

The policy is based on one the U.S. Supreme Court approved for the town of Greece, New York. The school district’s attorney has told the board there are differences in the school board’s legal status compared to the town council in New York, and that the ruling doesn’t offer any guarantee of legal protection against a lawsuit.

The policy discussion has drawn crowds of protesters at board meetings for the past two years. Under the current policy, board members offer prayers that do not mention the name of Jesus or any other specific deity at the start of meetings. Members of the public are allowed to pray during the public session in any manner they choose.

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