Osceola County school board members propose opening prayer

Leading school board meetings with prayer could make a big comeback in Osceola County. There's a proposed resolution inviting people of all faiths to lead a prayer.

Osceola School Board Chair Terry Castillo says she would rather start the meetings with a prayer, rather than a moment of silence. That’s why she’s hoping to pass a new prayer resolution. 

"It isn’t just inviting members of the Christian faith; it is inviting members of our community of all faiths,"  she explains.

She says prayers would be led by people from different religions. 

"I think in this particular moment when we happen to be so, so divided it is a great way to say, hey community members, let's share our faith, whatever that faith may be."

"There cannot be school board and prayer, that’s unconstitutional," says attorney Chris Line with the Freedom from Religion Foundation.

Line says the school district stopped praying before meetings last year after they contact them. He’s concerned about the proposed prayer resolution.

"Hopefully there would be non-Christians included, but we think in practice this is going to end up being exactly what it was -- just Christian prayer at most meetings."

But Castillo says it's about bringing people together.

"Let’s have a moment when we can all appreciate each other and I think that’s a great way to set the tone. It’s inclusive, and I think it’s a really great way to celebrate our community." 

School board members won't be able to conduct an invocation. They will vote on the proposal at the next meeting in March.

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