Cleveland County residents are continuing to push the school board to allow prayer before the board’s meetings begin.
At the last meeting of the board, elected officials voted not to begin meetings with prayer. The board voted 8-t2 to continue with a moment of silence. However, they said they would get policy and procedures recommendations from the superintendent and legal team in time for another meeting on Nov. 9.
The board met again Monday night. This time, the meeting was held at Shelby Middle School to accommodate those who wanted to attend.
“(I) wasn’t sure how many people would be here this evening, but we wanted everybody to have the opportunity to view our meeting and participate if they chose to,” said Phillip Glover, chairman of the Cleveland County Board of Education.
Several residents spoke during the public comments portion of the meeting. Many continued to advocate for prayer at the beginning of meetings.
“We want God back in our school and we think it must start with the school board,” said a representative of the Cleveland County Christian Law Enforcement Association.
Lawyers were also present to speak on behalf of the public Monday night.
“I think it’s time to say enough to the wholesale removal of religious speech,” attorney Greg McIntyre said to the board.
The school board did have some support from the crowd. At one point during the meeting, several residents stood up and clapped to show their appreciation for the elected leaders.
“I appreciate the work that you all do to look out for our students,” one of supporters said.
No decisions were made by the board. They noted that lawyers are crafting a new policy that board members can review at the next meeting.
“I’m a true believer and believe in the power of prayer, and I’m just anxious to see the work from our attorney and see what comes up,” said Glover.
WBTV is a media partner of The Charlotte Observer.