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Mathews school board declines to adopt opening prayer at its meetings

A proposal to start each Mathews County School Board meeting with a prayer failed to muster enough support to be brought to a vote, as a motion to that effect made by school board member Bobby Dobson failed for lack of a second.

During Tuesday’s monthly meeting in the Mathews High School media center, Dobson put forward something similar to what county supervisors currently do, inviting pastors from county churches on a rotating basis to open each meeting with a prayer.

For residents who don’t practice their religion in the county, leaders from those congregations would be invited as well, so long as the speaker is an ordained person with a physical place of worship, Dobson proposed.

While the other board members seemed in support of prayer generally, they expressed concern that doing so would open up the school division to costly legal challenges. School board vice chair Desmond Smith, who himself is an ordained minister, also objected to the idea that he would have to be le...

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