Montgomery Co. School Board Members On Proposed Religious Legislation

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By Ashley Thompson

Montgomery County School board members speak out about the recent religious bills making their way through the legislature.

There are currently three separate bills involving religion in schools and if signed into law, public schools could face legal troubles.

Some parents in Montgomery support a bill, which would require public school teachers to lead prayer at the start of class.

"We need that in public school system.," says resident Amber Belser. "They do that in private schools."

"Prayer should just be a part of everyday activities in schools," says Irving Wheeler. "Just like reading, writing, arithmetic."

But if signed into law, the bill could become a legal headache for Montgomery Public Schools officials, who will have to enforce it. School board member Melissa Snowden says she believes the proposed legislation is unnecessary.

"My biggest concern is, we have so many students that are of all religions," she explains. "We're a public school system and we already have a quiet moment of reflection every morning in our schools so I just feel like that just covers everybody."

Two other bills would allow students to initiate prayer in schools, express religion through their course work and say 'Merry Christmas,' 'Happy Hanukkah' or whatever phrase they'd like during winter celebrations.

"I think prayer should be in school," says MPS Board Member Beverly Ross. "I think this is what's wrong with society now."

Ross says she supports the proposed legislation and doesn't fear legal repercussions.

"I'm not afraid of being sued. I can't speak for other board members but I'm not."

Although all three bills involve public education, both board members say lawmakers have not reached out to them for advice.

"I wish they would ask us what we think but you know, they haven't," says Snowden.

 

 



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