With the latest tragedy, a number of students were murdered or seriously injured including staff who were also victims. Prayer should be put back into our public schools. Those who attempt to separate church and state must re-evaluate that decision of “eliminating” prayer in our educational system.

Often prayer prevents occurrences from happening or reduces them. Prayer in our schools should be allowed prior to the violent acts there, not after them. It’s called “prevention.”

It’s called being a hypocrite when leaders who removed prayer from the classroom then ask the nation to pray for the victims and their families too. They have no problem then with church and state working together and praying for the schools that have been traumatized.

It’s too late to prevent these victims and the families’ grief. But not for future episodes. Lives could be saved and grief prevented.

Doesn’t it seem backwards that prayer is encouraged after the tragedy occurred, but not allowed before, where the tragedy took place — in a classroom. The schools need to be allowed to pray before there are victims and not have to wait until there are victims. The students and family pay the price!

The school room should be a safe place and a place to learn, not a place to be feared. If a child or the teacher wishes to use this time to pray rather than using this time to get into trouble at our schools, be grateful! “Prayer is our friend, not our enemy.”

Joyce Borders-Accornero, retired chaplain