Dozens rally to 'put prayer back in school'
Sat, 03 May 2014 15:30:55 GMT —
More than 100 people rallied, prayed and marched in Florence Saturday to put prayer back in public schools.
The rally started on Dargan Street outside the Florence School District One building.
The "Put Prayer Back in School" efforts have already garnered substantial attention both in the Pee Dee and across the nation.
"We've already collected over 10,000 signatures. A lot of people are behind this movement here today and we believe that we're the generation of we ought to," explained Pastor Clif Leonard.
Pastor Leonard and Florence District One school board member Pat Gibson-Hye Moore lead the march through downtown Florence, protesting a law that has been in effect since 1962, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that government sanctioned prayer in school violated the First Amendment. Moore says it's now time for a change.
"Hopefully in the next year or so, we all can converge on Washington and let them hear our voices rise. I will continue to work and all these people out here will continue to work and make it grow," Moore explained.
Moore says students of other religions they should never be forced to pray. "If there's a prayer in the classroom, a Christian prayer, they'll be allowed to step out of that classroom until it's finished. This nation was built, built on Christianity."
For the last 3 years, school boards across the Pee Dee have allowed only moments of silence in classrooms, but Moore said she'll continue to challenge the system.
"They decided to do a moment of silence. Well I said no, that's not what I'm doing. I'm going to just continue to do my prayers aloud because I don't answer to the ACLU, I don't answer to the Supreme Court, I answer to a higher authority and that's who I intent to continue answering to."
Moore added that she plans to continue to meet with religious and community leaders and parents across the Pee Dee to help her get prayer back in school. She added that she plans or organizing more of these marches in the future.
We reached out to the Florence school board for their reaction but haven't heard back.