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POLL: 2 Arkansas school boards to cease praying

Complaints lead to temporary halt

By Bill Bowden

This article was published March 21, 2017 at 4:30 a.m.

Two school boards in northern Arkansas have stopped praying before meetings -- at least for the time being.

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Print Headline: 2 school boards to cease praying

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Comments on: POLL: 2 Arkansas school boards to cease praying

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23cal says... March 21, 2017 at 5:47 a.m.

Burnside said. "The biggest concern I have is the district. And I don't want to drag the district through a lengthy financial battle."
Hutchinson also said he didn't want to financially burden his school district with a protracted legal battle.
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How unfortunate they are more interested in money than in simple fairness to the non-religious----read "non-Christian"---members of their communities. Thumpers get so accustomed to special privilege that they tend to think it is their due. It isn't.
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"With respect to prayer at a school board meeting, I do not believe that the law is as clear or decided," Garner said." Wellll...........
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In Coles v. Cleveland Bd. of Ed., the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, which encompasses Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee, determined that school board meeting prayers are unconstitutional. (6th Cir. 1999). The reasoning in Coles is particularly helpful in understanding the differences between prayer at school board meetings and other “deliberative” or legislative bodies. As an integral part of the school system, the court held that school board meetings are more like school-sponsored events than legislative meetings. The court relied on a variety of factors, including the fact that:

Meetings are conducted on school property
School officials conduct the meetings
School-related issues are the focal point of discussion at meetings
Students have an incentive to attend meetings since they cannot voice their opinion through the normal electoral process
Students have an incentive to attend meetings since the subject-matter of board meetings directly affects them
Students challenging disciplinary action must appear before the board
Students are often invited to attend to receive honors or awards
Students often interact with the board
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The Third Circuit Court of Appeals, which encompasses Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, also struck down prayers at public school board meetings. In Doe v. Indian River School District, the court emphasized that school board prayer is analogous to other school prayer cases when it comes to protecting children from the coercion of school-sponsored prayer. (3d Cir. 2011). In that case, the court also held that the school board meetings are in “an atmosphere that contains many of the same indicia of coercion and involuntariness that the Supreme Court has recognized elsewhere in its school prayer jurisprudence.”
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About "Praying before the school board meetings has been a tradition for as long as anyone in Harrison can remember." Segregation was a tradition,too.....an illegal one which needed to go. So is this one.

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BOLTAR says... March 21, 2017 at 6:39 a.m.

Thank you, 23cal.

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haphog says... March 21, 2017 at 8:41 a.m.

Ignore the idiots; go ahead with the prayers. Prayers never hurt anyone!

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mrcharles says... March 21, 2017 at 9:16 a.m.

Haphog, ignore idiots is sound wisdom. Thank you for that insight.

It is a beautiful day here on my porch with my coffee and newspaper. So I will not think of the day the sun expands into the orbit of the earth as part of the Grand Plan.

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Popsmith says... March 21, 2017 at 9:37 a.m.

Sure don't want any divine guidance in this business.

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23cal says... March 21, 2017 at 10:07 a.m.

Yo, Pop.....are you wanting the school boards to ask for divine guidance from all of the gods that people have or do worship or just from your particular favorite?
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Is there some reason the ones who want to ask for divine guidance can't do it legally without giving the impression that my government prefers their particular superstition? You know, like on their own prior to taking on their role as government representatives?
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Yeah, that's what I thought.
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Yo, Hap...about "......go ahead with the prayers. Prayers never hurt anyone!" Since you are for prayers and they don't hurt anyone, are you good with the school board invoking prayers to Allah, to voodoo priestesses, to Catholic saints, to pagan gods, to Odin, to Ardhanarishvara or Vaikuntha Kamalaja, to Shangdi or Pangu, to Agloolikm, or to any others besides your preferred one?

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TiggerEd says... March 21, 2017 at 10:15 a.m.

The Law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul.
The decrees of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple.
The commandments of the LORD are right, bringing joy to the heart.
The commands of the LORD are clear, giving insight to life.
Psalm 19:7-8

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BOLTAR says... March 21, 2017 at 10:29 a.m.

TiggerEd, I've been asking for any credible evidence of gods but nobody has any. How about you? Surely you wouldn't just be spouting more delusions as all the other theists do.

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3WorldState1 says... March 21, 2017 at 10:33 a.m.

Tiger, because you reference the very thing in question, makes your response untrustworthy. People can also reference the Koran, does that make the Koran right? I mean, this is simple stuff here.
I think 23 had it right. The Christians in this country have had the majority for so long they believe, now, when the constitution is being adhered to, they think their rights are being taken away. Because of their privileged of being the majority for so long. Fortunately, we have a secular constitution. Thank God.
Hap - ignore the idiots. Priceless.

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libertas2u says... March 21, 2017 at 11:38 a.m.

Guess we should all gather up our paper currency and burn them because they say "In God We Trust." The left only loves the Constitution when they can use it to perpetuate their insane agendas. ENOUGH, the politically correct police were fired November 2016.

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