A Lafayette coalition of religious leaders will mail petitions to President Barack Obama today calling for student-led prayer in public schools.
About 250 people have signed the petitions over the past several weeks, said Bishop Carlos Harvin, pastor of New Beginnings Christian Church. Harvin said the petitions ask that officials allow public school students to lead prayer, whether it is in classrooms, before or after school or through extracurricular activities.
“We feel it would identify youth leaders, and would help deal with the issue of bullying, which can easily escalate,” Harvin said. “If there are young people who are spiritually minded and bringing a positive influence, that can help to prevent conflict in our school system. If a student is thinking about going to school armed, this could be positive peer pressure they could use to diffuse a bad situation.”