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ICC Note: Last week, several students at Amelia County High School were praying together in the hallway between classes when they were stopped by the principal and threatened with suspension. The incident led to outrage from parents and the local community who defended the rights of the students to pray. In response, the superintendent issued an apology and a meeting was held between the school administration and the affected students and parents to resolve the matter.

By Kelly Avellino and Alex Whittler

11/17/2017 United States (NBC12) – Parents are outraged after a situation involving a group of students praying at school on Thursday.

Amelia County Public Schools says it was all a “misunderstanding and miscommunication.” Superintendent Dr. Jack McKinley acknowledges to NBC12 that the four-year principal of the school stopped a group prayer that students began in the hallway, in between classes.

“Moving forward together” – that’s the message on the marquee at Amelia County High School, just one day after a group of eight or nine students were threatened with suspension for praying during passing period.

“There’s been a lot of hatred and aggression in our schools,” said Matthew Dunn. He organized the prayer.

Dunn says the purpose of the prayer was not to make a statement.

“It was to bring people together. And I think around the holidays, that is something that’s extremely needed,” Dunn said.

After the incident, Danielle Hall Anderson took to social media to say her “son took his time with others today to pray in between classes and is now being punished because he did that.”

However, McKinley says no students were disciplined.

“We do recognize that the situation could have been handled better and we are committed to learning from this incident and moving forward as a stronger school community,” said McKinley in a letter to parents.

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