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Prayer continuing in local schools

Posted on November 28, 2013 by Vauxhall Advance

A decision rendered by Horizon School Division’s board of trustees on Tuesday ensures area schools that already recite the Lord’s Prayer as part of school activities will be permitted to continue the practice.

An objection to the practice at Dr. Hamman School in Taber earlier this month prompted a controversial decision to discontinue the recitation of the prayer at that school.

Vauxhall Elementary School, Hays School and Enchant School all currently recite the Lord’s Prayer.

“I think it’s good. We enjoy doing it, and are glad to do it,” said Enchant principal David Walters. “We don’t make anybody do it if they don’t want to. I don’t think it’s a big issue around here, we’re pleased, I think we’ll continue with our practice. We want to be respectful of everybody, if somebody has an objection, we’re willing to listen to that and see if we can work it out.”

Vauxhall Elementary School principal Dale Cummings indicated the school will follow the direction of the board of trustees with regard to the issue in future.

“We’ll just continue doing what we’ve been doing at our school until they build their policy.”

Other schools which still recite the Lord’s Prayer in Horizon School Division include Chamberlain School, Lomond School, Central School’s Mennonite program, the Horizon Mennonite Alternative Program, Taber Mennonite School, and all 18 Hutterite schools.

While stopping short of suggesting the development of a policy with regard to recitation of the prayer isn’t needed, Walters noted than in general he is rarely in favour of more bureacracy associated with decision making.

“My opinion is, we want to have as few policies as possible. If something is such an issue in a community that not having a policy creates a problem or an injustice for somebody, then yes, maybe a policy should be put in place. My experience is, the more policies your have, the less happy your society is, because that’s less freedoms. You could nail everything down, but I don’t want to live in that society, I want to live in a society that is regulated by love and care and kindness and common sense. Sometimes if you get a ridgid policy, you can’t use your own good common sense and judgement. I think the fewer policies we have, the better off we are.”

Cummings was more in favour of a policy direction on the matter from the Horizon board of trustees.

“It looks like they probably do (need to develop a policy), I think that’s their focus. In light of the current situation it’s probably a good idea for the board to do that. It’s such a touchy issue, I’d rather not even comment on it. Everybody’s got such different feelings on it, and we’ll just continue to do what the board has directed us to do. We’ve been doing it in our school, we’ll just keep doing it until a policy says we continue or change what we do. A policy could take some time to build, because Horizon will consult with everyone, which is excellent, because people will have input on the policy.”

Cummings reiterated any decisions on the matter in future should reside under the purview of the board of trustees.

“It’s a sensitive issue for people, and I just hope people keep in mind it’s a hard one to comment on. I just really have to let it be with the board, and we’ll continue with what we’re doing until policy directs us in a different way.”

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