The proposal to return prayer to Ohio schools has suffered a setback. On Wednesday, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office rejected the petition for the proposed “The Amendment to Return Prayer to Our Public Schools” because the petition contained a technical defect that prevented the submission from being approved.
On June 15, DeWine’s Office received a written petition from a group called Coalition to Return Prayer to Our Public Schools seeking to amend the Ohio Constitution by adding “The Amendment to Return Prayer to Our Public Schools.”
The submission was rejected because the individual part-petitions signed by various individuals were not properly labeled to contain both the text of a proposed amendment and separately a summary of that amendment. By statute, such petitions must be properly labeled to identify both the summary of the proposed amendment and the text of the amendment.
In May, a group of faculty, parents and students gathered at the flagpole in front of Portsmouth Elementary School for prayer and a short message by former elementary school librarian David Huffman. PES teacher Kathy Cassity was at that gathering and talked about prayer being a part of her day every day including the school year. Cassity looked around at the group that had come to pray.
“There were a lot of members of our prayer group,” Cassity said. “We have prayer in my room every morning for any of the teachers that want to come and even some of their kids come.
In order for a proposed constitutional amendment to proceed, the full text of the initiative, the summary, and signatures from at least 1,000 registered Ohio voters must be submitted to the Ohio Attorney General. The Attorney General has 10 days to conduct an examination to determine if the summary is a fair and truthful representation of the proposed amendment.
The full text of DeWine’s letter and of the submitted initiative petition can be found at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/BallotInitiatives.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.