The Kentucky House is scheduled this week to vote on a bill designating the fourth Wednesday in September as a Day of Prayer for Kentucky public school students.
Proponents say the measure ties-in to the annual “See You At the Pole” each fall where students gather around school flagpoles before school to pray. Belton Representative Melinda Gibbons Prunty said she became acquainted with “See You At The Pole” as a volunteer youth minister. “But the kids always initiated it. And I like the fact that the bill has in it, it’s not a particular faith, it allows people of different faiths, but it does designate,” said Gibbons Prunty.
There were a number of no votes in committee. Louisville Representative Mary Lou Marzian said she’s very strict on the separation of church and state. Louisville Representative Attica Scott said she’s a woman of faith who prays every day, but added she didn’t, quote, “need government to designate one day to pray.”
Louisville Representative Lisa Willner cast a ‘no’ vote in committee. “Students do have a right to pray in schools. Every day student-led prayer is always welcome in our schools. I believe strongly in the separation of church and state and for that reason, I don’t think we should be legislating prayer,” said Willner.
Bill Sponsor Regina Huff of Williamsburg said she had received requests from people in other legislative districts for a day of prayer designation in public schools.