Hoover BOE opens meeting with moment of silent prayer thanks to - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Hoover BOE opens meeting with moment of silent prayer thanks to SCOTUS ruling

The Hoover BOE. Source: WBRC video The Hoover BOE. Source: WBRC video
HOOVER, AL (WBRC) -

An old tradition makes a return when Hoover School Board Members did something they have not done in four years. They opened Monday night's meeting with a prayer.

"We couldn't and now we can," explained former Hoover Board Of Education President Paulette Pearson.

"We wanted it to be on as soon as possible. So it's on tonight's agenda," added Pearson.

Last week the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the right of local officials to open town council meetings with prayer, as long as they do not denigrate non-Christians or try to win converts.

The Hoover Board Of Education took the decision as a green light to bring prayer back into the mix. Pearson says the board chose to go with a moment of silence.

"We felt like this would give everyone an opportunity to pray as they choose," Pearson said.

Robin Shultz is a Hoover neighbor and a long time supporter of opening public meetings with an invocation.

"I think we're making good progress here from the time we did away with the invocation all together," explained Shultz.

For the last four years, Shultz has asked the BOE to bring prayer back to meetings. It was axed in 2010 when an organization that defends the separation of church and state filed a complaint against the school system.

"We were advised from our attorney it would be costly to the school and not to pursue it," explained Pearson.

This time around, board members feel the law is on their side.

"With the Supreme Court ruling, we're not concerned with that," added Pearson.

The board also elected new officers Monday night. Donna Fraizer is now board president, Derrick Murphy is now vice president and Superintendent Andy Craig was elected as secretary.

Copyright 2014 WBRC. All rights reserved.

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