ALBERTA

Lord's Prayer Pulled From Taber Public School

11/14/2013 02:54 EST
Joey Celis via Getty Images

Should the Lord's Prayer continue to be recited in public schools?

That's what officials at the Taber Public School Board are trying to figure out after a parent complained about the daily prayer last week.

The National Post reports children at Dr. Hamman Elementary School have stopped reciting the prayer in classrooms following the complaint.

According to the Lethbridge Herald, mother Melanie Bell voiced her concerns to principal Darlene Peckford after she learned her children were disciplined for not knowing all the words to the prayer.

Bell, who describes herself as agnostic and is raising her kids as such, told the Herald both her children have come home crying on several occasions and she believes their basic human rights are being violated.

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“I feel religion has no need in the public school system,” she said.

Wilco Tymensen, with the school board, told CTV Calgary all options will be considered before deciding whether or not to drop the prayer.

“As a board, it’s their mandate and requirement to represent their constituents and look at the greater good for the jurisdiction and they also have to look at the greater good of society and what’s best for kids.”

According to CTV, an exemption in the Constitution was made when Alberta and Saskatchewan joined in 1905, allowing the provinces to recite the Lord's Prayer in public schools.

Other parents with children attending Dr. Hamman said there needs to be a vote to determine if the prayer is recited or not.

“We want to get at least an opportunity to vote, because it was just one person who made the request and there was no warning for the rest of us,” parent Tonya Torrie told the Herald.

“We aren’t mad, but we want to have the right to say what we want to say. I just don’t think it’s right for one person to make a decision that affects everyone else.”

The debate is not a new one in Alberta. Two years ago a St. Albert school grappled with whether to keep the prayer in classrooms. It was decided the prayer would remain, but several provisions were made to ensure students who did not want to participate could leave the classroom during prayer.