Thanks to a comment from one of our students and my acceptance of the challenge, SchoolPrayer became a reality. During a visit after a youth group gathering, a student expressed their desire to feel the same fullness of faith in school. I responded with a simple question, “Why can’t we?”. The student was surprised by a teacher’s commitment to this idea, and truthfully, I wasn’t entirely sure where this path would lead.
The following day, I discussed the idea with the school superintendent, who offered support but emphasized the need to insure its legality. After consulting with the school’s attorney, I received the green light, with one condition: our sessions must conclude by 7:45 am, the official start of my workday as per my contract.
So, we began announcing to the students that we could gather before school between 7:30 to 7:45. Initially, we had a consistent attendance of 8-10 students each morning. Over time, through word of mouth, our numbers have grown to over 30 some mornings.
Creating an environment where students, as well as myself, could begin the day focused on what truly matters has been a profound blessing. It is not a mere task: it has become an integral part of my daily routine that I eagerly anticipate and deeply appreciate. I wholeheartedly encourage others to embrace this challenge. Requesting the first 15 minutes of our school day to be dedicated to the Lord is a worthy endeavor; He deserves that and so much more. I am confident that, like me, you will come to see it as a true blessing.
Scott Peterson (The teacher who facilitated the start of SchoolPrayer)
Prayer Meetings in Public School Are Legal. SchoolPrayer has met legally in Lemmon Public School since September 2022. Your local school district and school administration policies will determine the specifics of what SchoolPrayer is permitted to do in your school. SchoolPrayer advocates maintaining a positive relationship with school administrators and respecting the administration’s responsibility to protect our students.
The legal basis for prayer in public school is derived from the 2023 US Department of Education guidance on prayer, the Equal Access Act of 1984, and a lawsuit-Wigg v. Sioux Falls School Dist 49-5
Prayer in public schools must be voluntary and held during the free time of students and teachers. Prayer in public schools is possible either as a Community Group or as a School Club. If your school district allows other Community Groups or other extra-curricular School Clubs, the school district should allow SchoolPrayer meetings in a similar fashion.
SchoolPrayer meetings only take 15 minutes. When starting SchoolPrayer one will need to determine your school district policies. For more details on starting SchoolPrayer please go to “How to Start SchoolPrayer”.