At the most recent meeting of the Board of Education on March 6, 2012, the “invocation,” which had been placed on the original agenda for the meeting, was not given. The agenda handed out at the meeting; however, did exclude the invocation. Apparently, sometime between the publication of the original notice of the meeting and the actual meeting, the decision was made to exclude the invocation.
In the board members’ comments segment at the end of the meeting, the initial four members who spoke made no mention of the absence of an invocation. Steve Ridenhour was the first person to take notice of the absence of an invocation. He was followed by Carol Livengood who also noted the absence of an invocation.
It is generally believed the agenda is typically assembled by the superintendent and the board chairman, Terry Renegar. Is it possible they did not discuss eliminating the invocation with other board members? It certainly was not a scheduled topic of discussion at the board meeting.
The law in our federal circuit leaves to public bodies at least three choices: no prayer or invocation; a period of silence; or a non-sectarian prayer.
To many in our county, this issue is important. Some reference should have been made to the absence of the invocation at the March 6th meeting, and certainly there should have been at least a comment from the people who assembled the agenda.
Some explanation from a representative of the board or from DCS prior to the next board meeting would be helpful. I will publish any such comment in its entirety.