Chicago, Illinois A Democratic state representative from Illinois recently told a group of ministers that he believes they need to work to get prayer back in school.
Representative LaShawn Ford made the statement in light of the recent shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
“I also urge the ministers here to fight to get prayer back in schools. That’s a mission that we need to do,” he said. “We need to make sure that we get prayer back in schools in some form or fashion.”
He said that if prayer is not restored, students should at least be able to have religious symbolism in the classroom.
“[We need] some kind of way that we can have symbols or whatever in the schools, so that students can feel that there is something that they can attach to, so that when they feel weak, they can go to the symbols, whether it’s Jesus Christ or someone that they believe in,” Ford explained.
However, reports state that none of the ministers present supported Ford’s idea. One expressed to the representative that prayer in school is “not a priority” for the preachers.
Official school prayer was first banned in America in 1962 in the Supreme Court decision of Engle v. Vitale, which involved a case out of Hyde Park, New York. Prior to the ruling, students were led in a scripted prayer every morning, which read, “Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our country. Amen.”