Arizona School Board Unanimously Votes to Bring Prayer Back to Public Meetings
MESA, Ariz. - A school board in Arizona has voted unanimously to reinstate prayers at public meetings after voting just two months ago to replace the invocations with a moment of silence.
The five-member Mesa school board agreed without dissent to invite clergy from all religions to participate in a new pre-meeting program, according to The Republic.
The vote, held on Tuesday, reversed a decision in November that replaced prayer with a moment of silence. Reports state that the board was initially fearful of losing a lawsuit if the prayers were challenged in court.
The Madison, Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) had pressured the board last year to discontinue the prayers following a complaint from an unidentified resident.
"Public school boards may not include prayer as part of their scheduled meetings," the organization wrote in a letter last October. "Federal courts have struck down school board practices that include this religious ritual. Prayer at public school board meetings is unnecessary, inappropriate, and divisive."