S. Carolina ends woman's morning prayer time with students

GEORGETOWN, S.C. — For more than a decade, Georgetown resident Violet Infinger had been praying with students in Georgetown High School's auditorium, but school district officials have ended that.

Infinger, whose daughter graduated from the school and whose grandchild currently is a student there, said she was shocked when school officials told her last week that neither she nor the students could continue the prayer time or hand out Bible Scriptures on school grounds.

Celeste Pringle, assistant superintendent of curriculum, said the district acted after the issue came to the attention of officials last week.

"There's nothing I can do right now," said Infinger, who said Pringle told her she could stand outside the school's gate to hand out the Scriptures, but she could not pass out Scriptures on school grounds.

"No way could you have time to pray with kids outside the gate. It's not possible, and it's not safe,'' Infinger said. "This has been a total shock. I enjoy going and being with the kids and talking to the kids."

The students had been meeting each morning from 7 to 7:40 a.m. before school started, but district officials said they were not aware of the gatherings or of Infinger handing out Bible Scriptures to students on their arrival to school until last week.

Pringle said her office received a call from an attorney with the Americans United for Separation of Church and State after that agency received a report that a woman was on the Georgetown High campus handing out religious literature to students.

She said the district investigated and put an end to the prayer time because Infinger and the students were not following appropriate procedures, which include not handing out religious literature on the school campus.

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