KASU

2 Arkansas school boards cease prayer after complaints

Mar 21, 2017

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Two northern Arkansas school boards have temporarily ceased prayer before meetings.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (http://bit.ly/2n3xYoE) reports Springdale and Harrison boards are researching the legality of the public prayers after receiving a letter from The Freedom From Religion Foundation in Madison, Wisconsin. The foundation monitors matters regarding separation of church and state.

The foundation sent a letter to Springdale on Dec. 29 and to Harrison on March 6, saying public prayers before board meetings violated the U.S. Constitution.

Harrison Board of Education president Jon Burnside says the issue will likely be addressed at the next board meeting April 18. The board didn't pray before their meeting Thursday.

Springdale School Board president Randy Hutchinson says the board stopped praying at the end of 2016. He says the board will investigate the matter and move forward based on their findings.

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Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com