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School prayer backers keep working

October 30, 2002

A group that launched a drive last summer to restore prayer in public schools didn't get the hoped-for response but the organizers don't feel their efforts were in vain and are still hoping more people eventually will join the fight.

"Last week we met with U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett and he told us he was going to call the matter to the floor of the House of Representatives after the first of the year," said Nancy Myers.

Myers and her husband, Ron, joined with Sharon Wood, Richard Fouke and Agnus Hessong to enlist others within The Presbyterian Church of Hagerstown and throughout the community to explore the possibility of returning prayer to public schools following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

They decided to begin a petition drive in Washington County. Sixty yellow legal pads soon were circulated around the county and into Pennsylvania and West Virginia, she said.

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"We got a total of 12,102 signatures," Myers said. Of those, 8,192 were gathered in Maryland; 2,675 in Pennsylvania; and 1,235 in West Virginia."

Myers said she had hoped for at least 60,000 signatures but admitted the petition drive was a lot more work than the volunteers anticipated.

For more information on the prayer-in-schools effort, send e-mail to Myers at ncmyers7777@aol.com.

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